I had a few emails from the guild leader for Shining Star Crusaders concerning the issues I brought up in a blog post about Dalra, at that time a member of their guild.
The first email was simply a request to remove any reference to Shining Star Crusaders from the blog post, the second email came 7 minutes later as follows;
I have no idea who you are, nor do I care particularly. I do care that you have defamed my entire guild with your prattle regarding a player that is NO LONGER in this guild. This person was a member all of a big 4 days!
Talk about the individual player all you want, leave the guild out of it. But then it Is quite obvious you like the sound of your own words and don’t care about the honest and sincere and decent people in Shining Star Crusaders.
I would appreciate your removing the name of my guild from your blog.
Now, of course I understand the concern the guild leadership has over some moron writing a blog post talking about the behavior of one of their members in a public fashion. Especially one like me, that prattles on and on. It’s a fair cop.
I’ve checked, confirmed no player named Dalra is currently in the guild mentioned, and I have added an update to that effect on the blog post.
I’m even writing this separate blog post, and I’m making sure I let everyone know that the guild leader of Shining Star Crusaders says that Dalra is not now a member, and I am assuming that the implication is that Dalra’s behavior does not represent the type of community Shining Star Crusaders has formed.
Please, and I really mean this, please do not bother any member of Shining Star Crusaders about Dalra. It’s over, it’s done, none of the members of that guild had any part in what Dalra did.
What I’m not going to do is edit the post to remove the name of the guild Dalra was a part of when the player acted as they did. They did what they did, in public, with the guild name shown that they were a part of, got busted in public, and that’s all there is to it.
It’s unfortunate that really good people may now feel that they as a guild are tarred with the same brush as an outright asshat. I still don’t know anything at all about the guild, except for Dalra and of course for the letter I’ve received, but I know how I would feel if someone who stood against everything MY guild stood for was portrayed as being representative of my guild. I’d be pissed off and hurt.
But I’m still not changing history or rewriting the blog post to pretend that Dalra was unaffiliated when they took the actions they did.
The reason I’m leaving the name in and bringing this up, is to ask a question I honestly want to know the answer to.
To what extent are guild officers responsible for the behavior of their members?
When I was a guild leader with Cassie, one of our worries was the behavior of guild members towards others while wearing the guild name. We as officers felt responsible, NOT for the actions of those wearing the guild name, but for the continued presence of those people within the guild after they had done something.
It happened a few times, and back then discussing it with other guild leaders it was clear no guild is immune to it. A member would do something in public, and it would be reported back. The way we handled it was investigate, apologize to those outside the guild who were affected, and then take apropriate action up to and including temination.
Every player acts as he or she deems fit. Whether angels or asshats, they do what they choose to do, and so long as they pays their money the same as everyone else, and abides by Blizzards’ Terms and Conditions, so be it.
What a guild leader does have control over is whether people who behave in certain ways are allowed to retain membership. Any guild has the right to refuse admittance on any grounds they so choose, including inappropriate behavior.
But that’s not fact. It’s not law. It’s just my own personal opinion on how things should be done and how I tried to do it, and damnit, maybe I’m wrong.
So I’m putting it to you, and I really do want to know.
Is it fair to name the guild a player is a member of, when that player is caught red-handed in the intentional griefing of others?
To name the guild is to associate the other members of that guild with the behavior of the player.
Maybe the guild did everything right. Application process, trial runs to see how the player acts and plays, discussion on vent to get a feel for who they are before invitation. In the guild group, where there are known consequences for bad behavior, namely getting booted and not getting to raid, maybe the player is on their best behavior. They make an effort to keep up appearances.
Then in what they thought was a totally anonymous situation, they cut loose with what I would call their true colors, and there were unintended consequences because there is no anonymity on the internet. Maybe it cost them a paid name change to regain that anonymity, maybe they revel in the notoriety, whatever.
Have the expectations of decent behavior in and out of a guild changed? Do guilds no longer worry or concern themselves with the actions of their members outside of guild activities? Do they not expect to be held accountable when their members act out?
I have always acted based on my own expectations. I expect that a guild leader should be held accountable for the behavior of their members, regardless of how long they were a member of the guild. If the guild leader offered the invitation, then they were bringing that person into the guild, and giving the right to wear that guild name and represent it to the server as a whole. If they have concerns, then they take steps to be careful who they offer admittance to, and take action when problems happen.
Things change, communities move on, guilds stop being family and start being businesses making videos and getting sponsorships and working toward world firsts (and trying to steal each others’ raid ID to get those world or realm firsts). Maybe it’s no longer about wanting members that really are nice, and now it’s just trying to protect an image that is worth gold in recruiting other good players to your ranks.
What do you think?
I really want to know.
These days, I’m just a singer in a rock and roll band, I’m not a grand poobah. I am thinking maybe with cross-server LFR and LFD, it’s time I changed my attitude, and take the side of Sharazam. I think she’s right, and I was wrong, and it’s become impossible in this cross-server game to be held accountable for what your players do. They can be freaking nutso bughouse freaks out there in LFR land, and a guild leader may never hear about it on their own home server unless they are really lucky.
As always, I am keeping my mind open, and I’d love to hear your take on it from your own personal experiences.