Modgate occurred in August 2007, when several ranking members of GOONS, \m/, TPF and Genmay were banned and their nations deleted for asking the identities of moderators on the main CN forums and engaging in other forms of OOC harassment against these individuals.
Modgate was the culmination of a series of crackdowns by CN Forum moderators in an effort assert more control over the forums after the arrival of reknowned "game crashers" from other internet communities including SomethingAwful and 4chan. While the crackdowns resulted in some disruptive players being ejected from the game, for a few weeks afterward the other members of these groups grew more enraged and protested, ultimately resulting in further bannings from the game.
The events of August 2007 made much of the player community already disgusted with the conduct of the behavior of the "game crashers" feel confident enough to side with the mods and speak up against them. Many players believe it was Modgate that largely instigated the players uprising against these alliances, leading to the Unjust War. During this war GOONS, \m/, Genmay, and their supporters were defeated by ~.
Despite the unbanning of some of the players originally banned after the mod staff decided to give them another chance, several of the unbanned players went out via account suicide when they realized they were being defeated in the Unjust War.
The First Moderator Removal/Scandal Made Public
Before Modgate, never before had mod treachery been revealed to the general membership. Mods exhibiting bias or other inappropriate traits were always quietly removed from the staff with no explanation to the players, sometimes leading to mistruths spread by the removed mod remaining unrefuted. During Modgate, due to the high level of mistruths being spread by a moderator removed for bias, the first moderation removal for such behavior was shared with the general playership.
Some of the evidence used against \m/ leaders in particular was provided by Alpert Nation, former Minister of Foreign Affairs for \m/ and also the moderator formerly known as Mod of War. Alpert was caught using his position as a moderator in an attempt to benefit his own in-game alliance by leaking private moderation discussions to members of \m/. Worse yet, he was caught fabricating supposed moderation discussions and identities to give to players, resulting in OOC retaliation against innocent players accused by Alpert of being moderators.
When caught by then Lead Forum Admin Sword of Estel (now the Head Game and Forum Moderator/Administrator) doing this, Alpert attempted to "save his own neck" with both the mods and his alliance by lying to both sides. To \m/, he claimed to have been removed for expressing outrage at the other moderators for bannings of a few of their members and/or allies. To the mods, he claimed that various members of \m/ enlisted him to spy on the moderation team and threatened him into giving out confidential moderation information. Alpert was commonly known to be an incompetent and inactive moderator and alliance member, not trusted by the mods or the players. For this reason he had never been given much little access to the moderation forum, forcing him to fabricate evidence to give to \m/ which he claimed to have done to get alliance leaders off of his back.
As part of his attempt to avoid losing his modship, Alpert provided a list of names to SoE of people he claimed had bullied him into giving out mod information. A few \m/ nations were banned or received warnings based on a combination of Alpert's testimony and other evidence provided to the game staff, much of which came from other members of \m/ under assurance of confidentiality. No member of \m/ was reprimanded by the game staff solely due to Alpert's claims.
Members of \m/ were outraged, not only because Alpert/Mod gave SoE the names, but because Alpert/Mod later claimed the names were pulled at random from \m/'s leadership roster. Alpert/Mod subsequently accused SoE of pressuring him into giving up information, just as he had accused the leaders of \m/ of pressuring him to share mod information with his alliance.
Mod of War was fired from his moderation duties and Alpert Nation was permanently banned from the game. Alpert was also ejected from \m/ despite his attempts to cause further trouble between the moderators and \m/ and GOONS by blaming the mods for his treason.
Towards the end of the moderation crackdown on players engaging in attempted OOC harassment of players they believed to be moderators, Moderation decided to give some of these players one last chance and allowed a few of the lesser offenders to come back to the game. This included some members of \m/ involved in the ModGate scandal, most of whom did not choose to account suicide along with members of GOONS during their defeat in the Unjust War.
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