Lowendtalk.com Moderator Meltdown

drmike

100% Tier-1 Gogent
There has been a recent issue with moderators over at LET and some guys disappearing or stepping down.  Namely was Spirit who was a long time LET member and moderator.

I heard some rumblings prior about this and that.   But I like the real story and encouraging people to come forward.  Come forward about what?  About all the shenanigans in the background.  Plenty those mods know that ownership of Lowendtalk doesn't want to be seen in public. Anyone remember the LET hack with everyone set to administrator?  Perhaps we need another one of those...

This is an exchange that was allegedly private between the two parties of Maarten Kossen and Spirit.  How it leaked I haven't a clue.   I know someone isn't happy and yanked it down off of LET though.

Read the obituary below with a fine comb...

From Maarten to Spirit: 

Quote said:
Spirit, I've had to make some hard decisions these last few days regarding where I'd like to go with LET. I've got some ideas and I've also received some input from several members (as well as Jon [Biloh]) that we should make LET (and LEB) move forward. That involves trying out a number of things and setting up a set of rules/boundaries for moderation in order to make things easier for all of us. Unfortunately, I can only do that with one captain on LET, not two...
From Spirit to Maarten:

Quote said:
Code:
Ok, I must admit that I am a bit disappointed after all, that's why my removal of my history. I was always loyal to LET while you're not.
[B]You're talking all the time about money which keeps you here, you even tryed to recruit us to abandon LET to build your own community ..[/B]. and I was just silent, still doing my job here. For free.
I wasn't flawless admin, I was doing mistakes just like everyone, but I would never abandon LET like you will (possibly with the rest of the team if they will follow you) once Jon will delay with payment. [B]You said more than once than only money keeps you here. While some of us did all the work for free.[/B]

If you would have just a brief idea how many things I solved within minutes [B]because you didn't respond to people after days and days of waiting[/B]. How many times I was PMed with "mpkossen doesn't respond to my PM after days..." and I just solved it without a word. 
I am not saying that I was better admin, but [B]I am pretty sure that I dedicated much more of time and my life for this forum[/B]. And I was a loyal to community. Even with some mistakes I tryed to do the right thing all the time. Even if this farewell thread people blame us, blame me... (denyal of account deletion rights, etc..) for things which was solely your personal decisions.

When you were talking with Jon about me, [B]have you told him how many times you were about to leave, that you're planning even your own backup community, possibly with the rest of the staff if they will follow you abandoning LEB/T[/B]. Have you told him that I didn't participate in this and I choose LET instead. For free as always. One day Jon will delay with payment or something again ... and what will left from LET staff then? ...
 Anyway, [B]I picked the same way of departure as Liam before me[/B] and I dont want any crap around my posts deletion, new Spirit account etc..., because I more than deserve to pick my own way of goodbye. After all what was done. 
I hope that's not too much to expect.
[B] btw. banning Spirit account was nonsense[/B]. What for? As "punishment" for removal of my own history? It's not really important, but I would expect a bit more courtesy from you here knowing what happened in background.
 Don't go this route. Let it fade...
 

MannDude

Just a dude
vpsBoard Founder
Moderator
I usually only check LET once every week or two but had heard that Spirit had left. Too bad really, he seemed pretty alright in comparison to some of the others.

It seems LET goes through moderators constantly. One day I see so and so is a moderator, and a month later they're not anymore. Why is that?
 

joepie91

New Member
I usually only check LET once every week or two but had heard that Spirit had left. Too bad really, he seemed pretty alright in comparison to some of the others.

It seems LET goes through moderators constantly. One day I see so and so is a moderator, and a month later they're not anymore. Why is that?
I'd imagine that's what happens when the owners of the site just care about using it as a billboard, and the actual day-to-day staff wants to keep it a community. Conflict of interest -> burned out.
 

mpkossen

New Member
This is a modified and partial version of a private conversation that took place between me and Spirit. I'm not going to comment on this any further here or right now.
 

DomainBop

Dormant VPSB Pathogen
the actual day-to-day staff wants to keep it a community.
 

LOL to "community" and "Spirit" in the same breath. The little guy Spirit spent a large part of the past 2 years on his knees sucking #winning's schlong while dutifully locking and sinking negative CVPS threads anytime Chris asked him to (not to mention going into attack dog mode against posters who criticized CVPS).

because I more than deserve to pick my own way of goodbye.
no you don't

Read the obituary below with a fine comb...
LET obituary? I see the socially inept IRC addict's departure, along with the new rules on offers, as a huge step in the right direction.

disclosure: I enjoyed writing every word of this post
 

Francisco

Company Lube
Verified Provider
What a shame.

I honestly never had a single issue with Spirit, even when he was a customer at an old job of mine.

LET comes off as being incredibly stressful to run. They go through a lot of moderators, and i'm guessing that's because it turns into arguments of how best to handle certain cases. You then have to deal with constantly being called out for being in the corporations pocket too.

I have no doubts that Maarten is mostly there because of the income. I couldn't see someone taking that level of public abuse being an administrator on there for free or for 'next to nothing' when you know full well that the place isn't run as a community but simply as a selling floor.

It's a mess but bound to happen given Anthony & Lee's departures as well.

Francisco
 
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TheLinuxBug

New Member
What is more scary @mpkossen is I believe pretty much everything that is written there and have no problem doing so.  This is what happens when a community is turned into an asset and milked for money by the less scrupulous. I can fully understand where Spirit was coming from, I have spent many YEARS on LET trying to be a productive contributor and I don't get paid for that either.  I do it because I want to help people, not for the money.   Sadly when you have a bunch of people who's only motivating reason for being there is money you end up with the 'community' aspect of the whole place slipping away.  Believe me, that is already happening.  There used to be good provocative conversations there, anymore it just regurgitation of the "I want a VPS for pennies, Someone sponsor me and give me free vps, Here check out the new bottom basement dedicated deal!!, etc"  It used to be different.

I guess I have already made my peace with that and just expect that LET will continue to decline at this point, while others like Spirit who actually tried to keep the community 'Spirit' and help others, for free, will continue to leave over time as things get worse and worse.

I used to hope that CC would change and allow the community to grow, but instead they have infused it with a bunch of crap like GVH, constant spam of other CC hosts, moderators going around and changing people responses and 'censoring' posts for things they don't like.  I know, its happened even to my self.  Bottom line, they are not going to change.  So, either accept it and try to enjoy the remaining time before it is utter shit, or move on just as Spirit has chosen.  As unfortunate as it will be that he is gone, at least I hope it will be a relief to him to not have to worry about LET anymore and can spend some time finding a community to be more supportive of him and his generosity.

my 2 cents.

Cheers! 
 
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drmike

100% Tier-1 Gogent
Long live the censorship.... and the ban evasions :)  Oh wait, just my own observations from over there.

I'd like to know who decided to go with Shared/Reseller offers then did a hot 180 degree turn?  Yeah I saw the screwballs at the gate.... Didn't like the quality of the offers :) ?  Funny thing, it's the market and the audience unless you want to make it a private club for the same insiders....

But I see more bullshit companies offering VPS than I care to waste the next two months researching.   For instance, how does something like HostingBox go from domain registration on June 29, 2015,  to LEB Offer barely 2 months later (September 2)? I mean I know that 'company' is selling CC's Avotons and E3's at ghetto rates (ala GVH) from HVH / ColoCrossing but.....

... look at the ensuing humor on the LEB offer http://lowendbox.com/blog/hostingbox-18quarter-6gb-pooled-openvz-in-lenoir-north-carolina-usa/:

Quote said:
jeremy:

Guys, please be careful with this. Good as a toy, but I’ve had a few problems so far, and they seem to have run out of some resources (trouble creating VMs, no node found). That said, the price is insane, so I’m happy to put up with this kind of stuff for non-production VMs.
and...

Quote said:
cobol:

Hi Joshua, I just ordered but can’t create new server the error is:

Auto select error (No free nodes found in group OpenVZ – NC)
Creation faild
This company is a carbon copy ripoff of GVH and if Jonny-GVH isn't involved, meh, then this douchebag is Jonny2.0 with a photocopied biz-in-a-box.  Worse yet, the owner personality isn't the owner.

My point? LET has turned into a circus with morons who can't manage basic math and who have no staff, no time, curfew and bed time playing like they are big boys. (hey at least HostingBox fessed up to RAID-1)... and sure it has always appealed to juveniles (and delinquents)...  Cause you know those $65 Dacentec boxes break the bank.  Need a whole 4 orders to cover that box for a month.... 12 to cover the 3 months of pay.  Ramp up should have been pedestrian and planned. Unsure who the genius is that sells pooled resources when they are a single location and likely one box wonder.... ho hum.

There is so much research over on LET that is entirely glossed over about the bad actors.  Audience is happy being ripped off and duped.  Just look at Jeremy above... Waste of $18 and fine with it.   Is this the apathetic, err PATHETIC mindset one wants buyers to have?  I CAN AFFORD TO WASTE MONEY.  RIP ME OFF.   I mean I think it might be since the paycheck gets wrote by CC, and they have enough tentacles up puppeted asses doing stupid, broken, unsustainable, etc.  That's their approach to customers with a gripe and long has been.  Now it's just cooler, less fuck you edge, more business rules and too bad sucker.

Dishonest companies + unrealistic 'customers' = quite a mess.

LET is what again?  A place to buy cheap garbage and as a company sell to an audience of Hack Forums, spammers, ToS violators, etc.? I am retro, times change.  Perhaps Kossen should start another community.

Was Spirit the best moderator in the universe?  No.   But he seemed to actually have some interest in the industry.   Surely I saw that waning for a long while...   Can't say I see / saw the same interest in other mods recently.  Plus the guy was around for a long long time.

My question remains, why do guys volunteer for such a site and the shit they endure?   I mean, I guess I can understand if drawing a good paycheck like Mr. Kossen.  But others, why? WHY?
 
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HN-Matt

New Member
Verified Provider
LET was fun at times and I'm grateful for the free advertising space it offered, but the administration/moderation was always a bit of a joke. I would maybe equate it to something like 'soft totalitarianism' at best. I didn't pay anything to be there and I understand the staff are 'well within their right' to manipulate content because of vested interest X or idiosyncratic tic Y, but far too many of my contributions have been censored or deleted (usually without rhyme or reason... and if there was a reason it was always intellectually insulting) for it to be fun anymore, so I made my exit.

Imho the forum would probably do a lot better if the entire staff gracefully stepped down starting with @mpkossen. :)
 
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joepie91

New Member
The forum would probably do a lot better if the entire staff gracefully stepped down starting with @mpkossen imho.
Doubtful. CC doesn't care about the community, just about the business opportunities. It's the exact conflict of interest that was pointed out from the very start.
 

HN-Matt

New Member
Verified Provider
Ah well. Power tripping dorks gonna power trip. It's too bad, though, because the forum itself is filled with a lot of interesting contributors. A shame that the moderation ruins it for certain voices.
 

Dylan

Active Member
Do people honestly not remember that Spirit was one of the biggest drama llamas on LET back before he was made an admin? He was so confrontational and unpleasant. I was absolutely shocked when he was made an admin. Maarten said on LET that Spirit was complaining a lot on other accounts, and I don't find that hard to believe at all.
 
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Francisco

Company Lube
Verified Provider
The forum would probably do a lot better if the entire staff gracefully stepped down starting with @mpkossen imho.
Doubtful. CC doesn't care about the community, just about the business opportunities. It's the exact conflict of interest that was pointed out from the very start.
Yep, it's why LEA never sold the community after he had many companies try.

It's really hard to be 'impartial' when the main owner is a datacenter itself. EV1 had that issue with WHT way back in the day too.


Francisco
 

drmike

100% Tier-1 Gogent
Do people honestly not remember that Spirit was one of the biggest drama llamas on LET back before he was made an admin? He was so confrontational and unpleasant. I was absolutely shocked when he was made an admin. Maarten said on LET that Spirit was complaining a lot on other accounts, and I don't find that hard to believe at all.
True he had his share.  Then again, who that is a long timer hasn't had a drama phase?

Drama matters. If drama doesn't matter you either have lost your passion in general and are screwing off / coasting or your own drama got smacked by an often well deserved punting.

Drama matters why?  Because the owners and moderators of these sites (all of them) just aren't bringing it.  Run a community and by default you have vested interest in protecting the community and contributors.  In this industry that means crumpling nasty shell companies hiding for bad reasons.  It means banning proven bad actors (customer fraud, customer abuse, theft of customer funds, etc.).  It means looking at the ugly side of things, regularly and actually doing something about it.

Running a community anymore in this industry is mostly autopilot and public correctness bullshit. Ran by fake committee, fake inclusion and for what?  To drive revenue to the owners.  Often where the moderators are helping to drive income to a private for-profit entity.   Meh,  that's not a role of a volunteer, that's the role of an EMPLOYEE.

These communities are journalism related.  They are publishing outfits (yet they all try to lie about this as to avoid legal implications).  It's the classic dilemma of owners content vs. advertisers spend leverage.  It's made worse on LET/LEB by having a proven dirty provider being the wallet pot in the background.

You want moderators on these sites WHO ARE NOT PROVIDERS.  @mpkossen was a suitable person for a moderator role, back when he had the passion and wasn't being leash lead by his paycheck. For that, if the passion still is there, he should take his lunch bucket and stake out his own destiny.  Take the karmic leap, not like doing so is going to make him hungry or suffer.

Definitely need resistance and common sense in whoever is a moderator.  Yes men need not apply.  Why?  It is in the trenches, in the struggle that greater things are created.  Yes boys can go play their video games and waste away.  A moderator should have dignity, not be afraid to speak their mind, but ever caring about the larger community and doing what is best to preserve that prevent them from becoming victims of the darker elements that should be purged and remain purged from the community.  A moderator should know much that isn't yet in public view and be respectful while cautious as he/she watches over the community.  It's like moderators need to be BLOCKWATCH vs. a hired police force.  Of the community, and for the community, vested in such intimately, not just a lowly 2nd lowend paycheck.
 
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HalfEatenPie

The Irrational One
Retired Staff
I just want to point out that the rate at which LEB/LET chews through moderators and admins is fairly shockingly high.  
 

HN-Matt

New Member
Verified Provider
I just want to point out that the rate at which LEB/LET chews through moderators and admins is fairly shockingly high.  
The best part is how most of the short-lived mods continue to circlejerk with eachother in the c'est pit and various other threads, acting as de facto mods in a sense. It seems as if a lot of them want to continue asserting their moral authority but without the 'Moderator' badge. Bless them!
 

Lee

Retired Staff
Verified Provider
Retired Staff
I don't think it's fair to say LET goes through a lot of moderators, there has not been that much change if you actually look through the history, including the reasons why.  Given the very incestuous nature of it's background in the last couple of years there have been real difficulty in any moderator coming along be allowed  to make or even influence change.

Everyone is quick to judge on the face value of what they see, this thread being a prime example of that.  A snippet of information is revealed in a conversation to fuel fires, did you ask yourself who and why?  The more factual information offered to refute something is simply interpreted as a cover up or just used to fuel the fire that does not exist because that is what LET is for those people that have nothing better to do.

There is a section of the community that has remained for some time who are quite simply the drama group, in plain view they come across as the respected members who everyone likes, but out of site they are continually looking to create more out of threads than there is or as I discovered a while back there are some members who feed information to others so that they post things to create drama which then opens the door for the real instigators to then get involved.  Sad!

It's a constant battle against those who want change and those who don't.  Again it's in fact the smallest group of naysayers that manipulate and cause issues.  @HN-Matt being a prime example above with his half stories.  His nonsense get's no acceptance over there and the truth will not endear him to you people over here or be much of a story, so let's not be too honest eh!  At least he has made the right decision never to return to LET.

Moderators come along and want to influence many of the things that so many of you say is wrong with LET but have been prevented/discouraged from doing so because change is viewed as an ugly, unworkable notion.  The result?  Mods leave through frustration. However perhaps there is opportunity for this to now change in view of recent events.

I have said it before and I will say it again, CC have never in my view forced the way in which LET is moderated or run,  decisions made ultimately lie with the admins and moderators where they are right or wrong.

LET is always going to be the entry point for many into the market, I doubt that will change, I doubt the volume of provider related WTF type threads will reduce.  However LET/LEB despite the issues was still the launchpad for many providers who have went on to be the more respectable of the bunch that we all use today and more will follow because they got a break there where they would not elsewhere.  

LET is responsible in many ways for creating a number of monsters but failed to effectively deal with or control them in the right way, again I feel there is now opportunity for this to change.

As I always say at the end of threads like this over here, the old LET has gone, stop hanging on to the idea of a site where the principles/foundations it was built on are long gone, the time to reminisce has long since past, nobody writes about what you can do with a tiny VPS any more.  Both sites were gong to end up being sold by chief for the best money he could get, so this was all going to happen whether people wanted it or not.

For me, LET just took another step forward, might not appear that way to you, time will tell.

Enjoy your day :)
 
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