Our official response to Guild of Fools

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Postby Greg » June 27th, 2013, 7:27 pm

Hi everyone,

Most of you are probably not aware of the recent Guild of Fools (another tabletop livestream) drama, nor should you really care because it's Internet drama which is truly the lowest form of drama.

However, because the GoF members have shown a history of grossly misrepresenting the words we have said to them, we felt it was important to post our response to them publicly here on the forums, so that anyone who is wondering what was actually said can read it for themselves.

It's worth noting that this Reddit post was me reaching out to GoF to compliment them on their show, and what started our communication.

If anyone wants to discuss this matter, I invite you to PM me here on the forums, email me at podcast@thursdayknights.com, or hit me up at any of the other various services I am on. However, we're going to ask that people keep any further drama about this off of the forums. Thanks!

We do of course welcome all interested viewers to our watch our show. And so long as you follow our chat guidelines, you can participate in the chat as well!

Josh's email to me:
Josh from Guild of Fools wrote:Hey Greg,

I hope this goes to Greg, anyway. This is Josh from Guild of Fools. Last night we experimented with having a Wednesday night show because our viewers asked me to run a Pathfinder campaign. I planned on running from 6 PM to 10 PM EST because you guys told us Wednesday Warriors starts at 10:30 PM EST and I wanted to have enough time to end my session and tell my viewers to check you guys out. Around 15 to 20 of our viewers went to your channel and watched your show. I realize a lot of them went there with the intention to "troll" you guys because that's what they do on my channel anyway and they get away with it because it's all in good fun. They were disappointed when they joined your channel and were immediately snuffed out by your moderators.

We spoke with you last Friday about how we would be willing to mention you guys on our stream if you would do the same, and we did and I was told that you also mentioned us on your stream, which I really appreciate. However, we told you when you spoke with us that our viewers are probably more rowdy than most communities and you had said that since you've been streaming for 3 years, you're used to it, it wouldn't be a big deal, and you would be able to handle it. After your show on Wednesday, I got a bunch of private messages from my viewers on our forums saying that they have been permanently and globally banned from Twitch. I expected them to be timed out or even banned from your channel, but now a few of them cannot even get into my channel.

I am all for the idea of promoting each others streams, but when I send over 80% of my audience to check you guys out only to find out that not only has no one from your stream even given my stream the time of day, but that I actually lost viewers because your moderators managed to globally ban them from all twitch channels, I start to regret doing it in the first place. Many of my viewers have told me they were banned or timed out just for having a different opinion than your moderators, i.e preferring real dice over a dice rolling program/app, or not being a fan of 4E D&D. I actually watched part of your show and saw someone in chat, who was talking about a favorite character they played in one of their own tabletop groups, get banned just because their chat name color was hard to read (the bright neon green one).

In short, I am not going to promote your stream if my viewers are going to be pushed away as soon as they join your channel. You do not seem to pay much attention to your chat. Your viewers should not have to worry whether or not what they say have to say in chat pleases the moderators. You told me you wanted to increase viewer interactivity, but your mods are effectively killing it and you don't seem to even realize it.

Please let me know if you would be able to discuss this further in the near future. I would like to be able to reassure my viewers, especially the ones who are globally banned, that they shouldn't blame you or the members of your cast for the way they were treated and that it was just a case of moderators abusing their privileges.


And our official public response to them:
Thursday Knights wrote:Hey Josh,

First: I want to let you know that I'm posting your email and this response publicly on our forums. It is unfortunate that I feel the need to do this, but in your show last night you and members of your group were asserting that I said things that were in fact complete fabrications. This is why I feel it's necessary to have my statements out in the open.

I think clearing up some of these misunderstandings makes a lot of sense for both of us. First off: we are appreciative for the shoutout last night and were more than happy to reciprocate. As you know, I'm very interested in promoting all sorts of different table top live streams and am thrilled that they are growing in number. And yes, I do live stream for a living: I run the department for an MMO company and see between 1,000-6,000 concurrent viewers on any given day (and they can be a rowdy crew.) That being said, that's my job, and for my roleplaying streams, I'm either playing or DMing (in yesterday's case I was a player) and therefore not moderating, only reading chat. I leave moderation up to our volunteers who do it because they love our show, and I review the moderation actions after the show via our chat logs. All that aside, we don't allow trolls in our chat. Usually, our conversations are free-flowing and range widely in topic. Spamming chat, creating offensive names, deriding, trolling, or baiting players usually earns time outs - and all of that happened last night. It's unfortunate that it seems the bulk of this came from your player base but it isn't something directed specifically against them because of where they came from, but rather their actions. In terms of the specific issues you raised: the conversations on D&D and dice both ended up as toxic "edition wars" which, after warnings (including some from me directly) some didn't adhere to. Again, our chat is usually very laid back and welcoming. I think that the heart of this problem lies in the fact it seems a large number of the newcomers last night came in only to troll and while that might be welcome on your channel it is not on TK, nor will it ever be.

I also want to make clear that we did not globally ban anyone from Twitch: neither I nor any moderators have that power. If this happened, it was likely done by Twitch employees because the users were breaking the site's ToS. I think that creating multiple accounts is one of these offenses, but this wasn't done by us. We can time out and ban for our own channel and that is all.

Finally, I want to clear up what I think has been a huge misunderstanding with the projects I am undertaking. The first is bringing back our "chat choice" feature: this has absolutely nothing to do with Guild of Fools and has been in planning for a long time. I did not come to GoF looking for advice on the matter (other than IRC bot advice, but I spoke to the engineer who built that privately already); rather I simply wanted to compliment you guys for what you've done, and let you know that it inspired me to make our chat choice even more organized than we were planning. If you look at my original Reddit post you can see that this is true. I also am working to create a site to showcase many roleplaying live streams. I'm not looking to affiliate with, partner with, or merge any part of TK with GoF or any other site. It seems that as each day goes on, members of Guild of Fools think that this admittedly very simple and straightforward site idea is way, way more than it actually is. You yourself called it a glorified calendar, which is very apt! I've been reaching out to a bunch of different tabletop livestreaming groups to let them know about this idea and get input from what they would want out of a site like this, and GoF is one of them as you are one of the longest running shows out there.

Finally, I want to say that I personally found your group's behavior last night to be reprehensible. Your treatment of my group and my players during our session and particularly on your aftershow after we went offline was embarrassing and disappointing. We run TK because we love roleplaying, but these are my friends and family and the way you spoke to them, spoke about them, and treated them was abhorrent. As such, I would like to make it clear that I have no interest in any further association with GoF. I'd like to reiterate that this is not because of our differences on how to run chat, or how we each choose to run our roleplaying sessions. It is because I do not want to associate with you on a personal level any longer.

That being said, I do of course still invite GoF to be listed on the directory site we are currently building, as I don't think my personal feelings should affect the ability for fans to find all of the tabletop livestreams out there.

Greg Laabs
TK Dungeon Master
Posts: 556
Joined: February 2nd, 2010, 3:34 pm
Character Name: Dungeon Master

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