I was asked a question by Karn Prime in local last night and I didn’t answer it. There was not a quick and simple answer. But It is something I’ve been mulling over since before Burn Jita. Here was the question.
[ 2012.05.10 03:23:24 ] Karn Prime > did you read about the Goon death squad?
Here is the answer that question really deserves. I need to quote something here. It is from the official CCP banning page found here.
An immediate permanent ban of an account may result if a player:
- a. Organizes or participates in a corporation or group that is based on or advocates any anti-ethnic, anti-gay, anti-religious, racist, sexist or other hate-mongering philosophies.
Severe offences may result in an immediate ban without warning; however, warnings may be given for first time offenses, followed by account suspensions of varying degree and ultimately a permanent ban if a player:
- a. Is abusive, obscene, offensive, sexually explicit, ethnically or racially offensive, or threatening to another player or an official EVE Online representative.
- b. Uses role-playing as an excuse for violating the guidelines regarding fair play with others.
- c. Sends excessive e-mails, EVE-mails or petitions, petitions with false information or repeatedly petitions under the wrong category in an effort to circumvent the customer support queue.
- g. Engages in griefplay tactics which may include, but are not limited to, market/courier exploits.
I believe all those words I highlighted apply to Goonswarm. Their actions walk a very thin line. When they single out one individual they feel has slandered them, and perpetrate vigilante justice upon that person, they cross that line.
“But it’s just like all the other things they’re doing!” I can already hear some of you saying. No, it is not. They can run an event like Burn Jita because it is not aimed at one person. They can form a cartel and enforce its declarations because it is not aimed at one person. They can bankroll Hulkageddon and it is still not personal.
Everyone has a basic right to speak their mind; the right to disagree. Threatening them to make them stop, whether “in game” or not, is a violation of that inalienable right. It goes beyond game at that point. It becomes malevolent purpose: dark and wretched Gestapo-tactics. It is the worst of human nature given rein to express itself in the cruelest manner. It is that thing we fear will come for us in the night with torches lit because no one else cares. “But it’s only a game,” you say. True, but the emotions behind the action are the same – and just as vile. I truly hope I am preaching to the choir here…
I think the rules here are clear. The only thing that remains to be seen is if CCP will enforce them.