This will be the start of a few articles commenting primarily on Twitter and social media in general.

It has come to my attention that people are being overly aggressive/targeting swathes of people based not on their actions, but on the idea that they may be associated in some loose form with someone who has bad actions.

On Twitter, it follows this typical structure:

  1. User with many followers does something bad.
  2. That user receives backlash for doing something bad and usually ‘cancelling’ begins of that user.
  3. Tweets go out informing people that if they follow that user, they too will be unfollowed, blocked and cancelled.
  4. Tweets go out informing people to start cancelling people who still follow that user.
  5. People who criticize the legitimacy of criticizing cancelling people by weak association are also then targets for cancelling.
  6. Cancelling continues in a chain, people associated with people newly cancelled for previously being associated with someone who was cancelled become new targets for cancelling.

This has become ridiculous. It’s simply not acceptable to go about throwing your weight onto people who likely do not know better just because they’re associated with someone who did something bad.

A lot of people actually miss the announcement tweets telling people to unfollow the user who has done a bad thing and thus many people end up getting hit by this even though they are completely unknowing of the situation.

I also don’t know of any situation in which bossing people around based on who they follow (which is in itself not the same as supporting someone) that resulted in mass unfollowings or containment of the person doing the shitty things. That leaves me to believe that the intention isn’t really to accomplish any impact, but to extend the period in which cancelling is taking place.

And I don’t feel like that’s really honest.

The furry community and students in my old university course are both obsessed with the same idea: making their own video games.

And it’s not too surprising as to why this is, plenty of people adore video games, see indie titles and figure that they too can make something like that, after all it has been done before. This tends to turn out terribly, as we can compare the small number of indie successes against the unfathomably large swarm of people who make the attempt.

So many times people are ill-equipped to make it happen, if you have a team of just one person then that one person needs to already be the following to make a 2D game:

  • Artist
  • Animator
  • Composer
  • Programmer
  • UX designer
  • Marketer
  • Writer

This is actually a tremendous list of skills, with each individual element containing bottomless depth to fall into, and many people may only specialize in one or two for their entire lives. Attempting to master many of these can quickly become a steep cliff of difficulty.

So then people decide to form a team and get one person for each role they want to fulfill. This then ultimately adds “Manager” to the list of roles above and this should not be understated. A team comes nowhere near 100% efficient at any point, and before you know it a manager may be taking on duplicates in each of the roles in order to have a team that can meet tasks.

This tends to result in teams that bloat well beyond any sort of reasonable size, where you have 10 or 20 people “working” on a game that seems to be in perpetual gridlock and stagnation. Eventually the team disbands and you are left with nothing.

Smaller teams with more skilled people tend to fare better, but many underestimate the level of labor that is involved in building a game that has any degree of complexity and doesn’t cut plenty of corners. If you have a planned realistic development time of two years, remember that these projects tend to go overtime and over-budget. This can lead to a cascade of disappointment even in games that manage to scrape over the finishing line:

  1. A team is formed and begins work on a game.
  2. Assuming the team is able to start in the first place, fund-raising will start, usually with Patreon to fund the game.
  3. Patreon earnings are likely to be meager on long projects that don’t play on short-term gimmicks, plus these earnings are split between team members.
  4. Team members now make well below minimal wage, and may sometimes be lucky to even be making $1 an hour for their work.
  5. This continues on for years, and goes overtime, resulting in more time spent working for poverty income.
  6. De-motivation settles in, resulting in more delays and cutting corners.
  7. Accepting that they have to reduce quality to finish the project, the end result just scrapes over the finish line, often with minimal QA testing or serious review of the merits.
  8. Coinflip to see whether it will flop or not. If it does not flop, the vast probability for income of a one-person game is going to be below minimum wage for the time spent. For a team, this is divided even further down.
  9. Game is almost always forgotten at this point, the team members lament the fact that they could have made tens of thousands of dollars more had they done anything with their time but build the game.

Now, there are some exceptions to this, and we all know the smash indie game hits, but for every indie game hit that succeeds, a thousand more collapse under the weight of the process, or simply have bad luck in marketing.

When we point to successful profiles of furry game creators we can see how they succeeded and by how much:

  • Fek, builds a furry porn game that rakes in vast amounts of money each month. The game is okay, but Fek is clearly learning in many of the aspects of development, and the success trends from lucky popularity of his flash games and the fact that furry porn is easy to sell.
  • Klace, builds furry visual novels. The quality of them is awful, and corner-cutting is visible in terms of stealing storylines from other places, very little polish and sticking to an easy medium to create from. His success trends from selling copies of his games to Gen Z furries and the extent of his success is limited, with two games in 5 years and bad habits of flagging negative reviews and re-releasing his game to hide them.

You’re probably much more likely to end up in the realm of Klace if you are lucky enough to succeed, mitigating your time spent through using easy methodology and doing what’s needed to make money rather than put out a memorable game.

And I mean, really, the only furries able to exclusively and comfortably live off of the income for their game development projects are almost entirely those who were famous for other things beforehand. Fame brings money, effort and video-games do not.

PlsKnot.Me has been down for a couple of days. This has been due to a security issue that has since been patched, with the site restored from backup.

The security for the site has since been improved and the web server has been moved from apache to nginx, which should offer some performance improvements when loading pages.

Personally, I think spam is pretty sodium inducing

It’s now over 12 years since I started running servers and taking administrator/moderation roles in various. It all started after I was playing Garry’s Mod 9 in 2006 when it was still a free mod, then in 2007 with the release of Garry’s Mod 10 on Steam I decided that I wanted to host my own server.

Ah, now that’s the Garry’s Mod 9 that I remember, as well as early 10.

It wasn’t easy, of course, turns out there were several steps in the way, namely port-forwarding failing, dynamic IPS being standard in my country so dedicated servers were difficult and getting people to join “Listen” servers I put up was unstable at best. I remember using LogMeIn Hamachi back in the old days to try and get people to joined. It worked, sometimes.

So I practically begged my father to let me have a dedicated server, he eventually caved on the condition that I forfeit all pocket money that I would normally get, which at the time was £2 per week. I got a 10 slot Garry’s Mod server that I ran as a sandbox server, and got my first taste of dealing with FTP and configuring things for that server.

It went pretty well, though one of the things you learn quickly as a new server owner is just how awful players can be and it soon becomes a lesson in how moderation works.

At the time I was 11 years old, and after dealing with multiple player-caused server crashes, took delight in catching griefers before they could damage anything and subjecting them to being ragdolled, set on fire and nailed to crosses in the game to be ‘crucified’ before being blown up and banned.

It seems a little cringy now, but there’s probably very little more annoying to a griefer than being played around with like some toy by a bunch of kids. It is no coincidence that admin mods at the time had many a variety of punishments to inflict on people who broke the rules.

Over time I branched out into various other things, including forums and blogs of sorts, and one of the major issues that always cropped up on top of dealing with griefers, trolls and edgelords was the topic of spam.

A fine example of what will happen to you too, if you don’t make efforts against it

Simply put, if you put a forum up and didn’t take any precautions to prevent spam, within a month you would have thousands upon thousands of bot accounts posting spam threads to affect google rankings per day. Spam-blockers weren’t so effective neither, as many would still get through and you’d spend a few hours a week having to clean them all up and delete accounts.

This is a problem that has only gotten worse with time, as you can often come across wordpress blogs like this one and observe that the comment sections have been flooded with mass amounts of spam, which disguise themselves as legitimate comments while at the same time including links to other sites to boost page rankings for search engines.

It’s the same kind of mechanism that used to be called “Google Bombing“, which was used to get certain pages to appear to certain searches. For example searching “More evil than Satan Himself” used to result in Microsoft as a top result.

This site alone has hit nearly 4000 spam comments since I put it up. There’s simply no realistic way for me to handle it myself manually, so I allow Akismet to stop incoming comments. Any that make it through akismet I review manually myself. But the problem is getting bigger and more concerning.

In particular, the appearance of authenticity for the technology behind these spam bots has been improving, and soon it will be almost impossible for an automated system to detect who is a human and who is a bot.

Captchas don’t even fix the problem either, getting more and more difficult over time as bots continue to improve, there’s very little left that can be done to prevent the encroaching spam problem. It may even come to a point where I have to de-activate comments, or even a Something Awful setup where if you’d like to post anything, first pay a dystopian fee.

Here we go again…

It won’t be long until it has been two years since I’ve posted my article on Gylala, and after about 6 months of being bothered over even writing that, things seemed to have died down on my end. For the most part, I didn’t really need to worry about him anymore, because the article worked as planned:

  • Gylala brings attention to me via complaints.
  • The people outraged by things he has told them look me up and find the article I wrote on him.
  • This creates backlash when they are presented with large amounts of evidence of harassment, zoophilic behaviour and turning a blind eye to pedophiles he’s quite willing to harbor.

At the time I was actually planning on releasing a part 2 article, with all the extra evidence pulled from his discord server, of which I have a full folder of screencaps from that, but for the most part I settled on the original article doing its job well enough; Gylala’s telegram group had the most egregious material on it in any case.

I figured I had done my bit however, as reports were filing in that Gylala was being driven more than a little bit loopy by the continuous accidental posting of artwork featuring my own character in his server. He can’t really escape it anymore, and now he can’t really complain about me, lest he brings attention to me, my blog and the article written about him that he’s ashamed about.

So weren’t we all finished with this?

With 30,000 subscribers his videos have a strange amount of engagement, usually few views with very large amounts of comments on completely silent, low quality uploads. Myself and a few friends suspect he has been buying subscribers to artificially inflate his statistics, this is in-line with his previous invite-botting behavior of a couple years ago.

With all the dust and threats settled down, I figured that’d be the last of it, but it actually seems that people outside of the furry fandom got hold of my article and brought things back to light again. Curiously the community of a game I’ve never heard of nor played, Age of Civilizations where, in the time since writing my article, he has been uploading videos on his channel about it and making maps for the game.

He even has a Patreon now! For someone with 30,000 subscribers, the same amount as Kothorix when I first mentioned that dude in an article, 3 patrons seems somewhat low. Perhaps more evidence of buying subscribers?

All very well, but some people went googling and found my article, resulting in a mini drama spat starting from this tweet. After this, you can find some rather amusing perspectives on a not-so-vetted wiki about mapping for the game. These articles describe a peculiar series of events, ranging from the aforementioned tweet on Gylala’s page to some “anti-mapper” anon guy on his own page. Curiously they all seem to talk about “fake proof”.

“Fake” proof?

I wonder how it is that people came to the conclusion that what is contained in the article is fake. A dose of skepticism is often healthy, so let’s look at what would need to be done to fake the evidence given in the article:

  • The numerous chatlogs would have had to been all faked, up to a very high standard. This would be a massive undertaking.
  • The dialogue in said chatlogs would have had to been engineered to avoid appearing scripted or ‘fake’. People have different writing styles so simulating so many different people realistically would be difficult.
  • The witnesses who were there and are present in the chatlog would have to be bought out.
  • Gylala and his friends would have had to have protested against the accuracy of the evidence at the time. Instead they reacted by complaining about ‘intrusion’ into his private affairs, an admission of guilt.

To all of those who are curious about the authenticity of my article. Yes, it is possible to falsify evidence, simulate realistic dialogue and buy out witnesses, but the probability of this having been done is highly unlikely.

Of course, being the one who curated and collected all of the evidence in the first place, using searches and reading huge swathes of very vile chatlogs, I can attest that everything I included was representative of what took place there.

How can we fact check such things?

Well, one of the first things you could do is visit the people who are mentioned in the chatlogs. Most of them are quite easy to find and interview on the matter. Many people who were previously friends with Gylala have since come to me with testimonies on things he has done and verification on matters talked about in the article.

You could even interview me, as I have a large resource of additional evidence I had collected at the time, but had not written into the original article, and I have quite a few stories and amusing testimonies.

Not that I think it’s likely, but all the same.