Hi, lovely WCC members. Mosspelt here, along with the rest of staff, with an apology for the events of last night and an explanation as to what is currently ongoing. The other members of staff are welcomed to weigh in below, this post is my personal thoughts and feelings regarding what all happened, as well as what steps we have taken to ensure that something like this will hopefully never happen again.
I'm sure most, of not all of you, have seen the PMs that were sent to members across the site and the Announcement posted in response last night by another member of Staff, Cays. We as staff strive to uphold certain ideals, one of which being an open and welcoming site to any and all of our members - past, present, and future. I regret to say that the way things were handled at the time everything happened was not with that in mind, and those that voiced displeasure about it were completely correct in their hurt and anger. For that, I sincerely apologize.
It is never our intention to ostracize anyone, regardless of their past actions. As a team, we believe that anyone and everyone can have a change of heart, or a change of circumstances, which allows individuals to return better and more engaged than ever. We hope to promote this returning energy, and continue building on the site's foundation to contribute to a site that will stand for years, hopefully even decades, to come, paving the way for those who follow. Unfortunately, that was not the case last night, and a group of individuals was called out merely on suspicion and coincidences. To those that were and are within this group, I apologize. Whether you choose to stay or leave, your decision is your own and I understand that the choice was made with the words and actions of last night on mind. I can only hope that you accept our humblest apologies in pointing the finger, and contributing to what we hoped to abolish, inadvertently or not.
To those who were referenced in the PM, I sincerely apologize. Although I had no part in the PM itself, I accepted the role as admin with a duty to protect the privacy of the site's members and encourage a safe, healthy environment where we could roleplay for fun. With this mystery member having had the ability to access multiple PMs at once to spread such material, I let you all down. Words can not describe my anger and disappointment that such a thing was able to happen, and that your pasts, regardless of how accurate or inaccurate they may be, were exposed. These messages included some very private and personal information in regards to some of the individuals, and I am so sorry that these details were shared without your approval or knowledge. If you need to chat, or vent or be hurt, I understand. My inbox on site and on Discord is always available and open to anyone who needs to chat.
As far as the one who sent the PM. This user used a throwaway email and a VPN. That has really limited our ability to try to trace who might be the culprit, or involved, however we are still working with anything and everything we have to try to pin down who might have done it. It is clearly someone who had extensive knowledge about the site, including pre-boot and privately indulged knowledge, so they must have had plenty of time to research everything. However, not all of their details were correct. Please know that not everything in that message is necessarily true, or even partly true. If you have a concern about any member, please don't hesitate to reach out to staff and we will investigate to the best of our ability. Or, reach out to the member yourself! If you have a question about someone's past, they may just be willing to share some of their experiences from when they were younger. However, I do ask that all of our members respect each other's privacy. If a story is shared with you privately, unless you have a real concern regarding its contents (which should be brought immediately to a member of staff) then please consider it to be shared confidentially. There is absolutely no excuse, or reason, to hold the past against any member that wishes to make amends or return once more.
We are still working hard to try to get to the bottom of who, whether it was one person or multiple, did this. We will keep you updated to the best of our ability regarding our findings, but please, keep any speculations you have to yourselves. We're not here to point fingers or place blame without concrete evidence, and I'm sorry that it did not initially come across that way. What I do know, is what we have done to try to make sure this can not happen again.
1. A member has to have a specific number of posts before they can send a PM. This number is subject to change as time goes on, but for now it will stay static. This will mostly affect new members. The welcome message sent to new members has been edited to direct them to the Held Thread in Forum Help with any questions they may have early on, giving all of staff a chance to respond and hopefully get them moving sooner than waiting in one person's PMs.
2. The permissions for mass group PMs have been changed. Only moderators, and in some cases, only admins, should have access to send mass PMs to the groups on the site.
In addition to the changes made regarding sending PMs, staff has discussed ways to ensure that an announcement like the one last night does not happen without every member of staff being aware and having the chance to weigh in on what is happening. A list of priorities will be comprised and shared with staff, but in the meantime, the first goal will be damage control. Preventing any more issues, and trying to resolve the ones that have already occurred. Any and all announcements will wait until all of staff has been made aware of the situation and have a chance to provide their thoughts and input - we are a team and we will work as one to ensure the best environment for our members.
Hopefully with these measures in place, we can avoid something like this happening again, at least on the scale that it did. At the very least, it will hopefully give staff a chance to catch it early and put a stop to it before it gets out of hand. The member responsible for the PMs and post has been banned for spam and harassment of our members. I regret that at this point there is not much more I can do, but as I stated earlier I will continue to try to get to the bottom of this, and keep you all updated.
A final note - we are all human, and we all make mistakes. It wasn't very long ago I made a very similar mistake, one that continues to be a reminder of a time where I disappointed not only myself but those who were counting on me as well. I have accepted my punishment for that, and every day I strive to be better than I was that day. I sincerely apologize that the one last night was on such a large scale, and I hope to be able to make amends with all of those who were hurt or targeted by any part of the events of last night. My wish is that we can create a healthy environment, not only for WCC but also for any other sites that may come, and all of the members across the fanbase. I hope that we will all learn from this, and come out smarter, stronger, and better than ever before, after all, anything less will be giving the person responsible just want they wanted. I refuse to let someone so close-minded win, and I hope that you all feel the same. Here is to a better, brighter, welcoming and friendly WCC, and to any of our friends new and old.
I'll get out of the way now, so all of my other lovely staff members can speak on the events and share their own personal thoughts and feelings. I appreciate you all taking the time to read this, and I genuinely hope that this can be resolved and put in the past - and left in the past, where it belongs. I love all of you wonderful, delightful people who I get to enjoy writing and growing with, or even just chatting with, and nothing will ever change that.
With Love and Appreciation,