Author Topic: Furaffinity leaks - An Ex-Admin speaks out about the terrible state of FA  (Read 23035 times)

an Hoopoe

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Simbathelion was an admin on Furaffinity for several months. Before he became an admin he dismissed  criticism of Furaffinity, however after becoming an admin he realized that a lot of what is said is "very true". As a result he has spoken out about FA:

http://furaffinityleaks.blogspot.co.uk/

TL:DR:

1. Dragoneer re-admin'ed the terrible chase and lied to the userbase about it.

2. Sciggles is completely lacking in the qualities needed to be a lead admin and has no idea what she is doing, linking people to non-existent wiki pages &c.

3. Yak is always too busy playing computer games to do any work on the FA code. Dragoneer kicked the coders with free time off the staff in a fit of paranoia because he thought they were leaking logs.

4. Dragoneer complains about the state of FA, how it is causing him stress &c. but does nothing to fix things and just rattles off the same old "we're working on it".

You might be aware of all this already, but this is someone who was recently an FA admin, therefore there is more weight than usual behind their criticisms. In addition it shows how nothing has changed at FA and raises questions over whether or not Dragoneer will squander the huge donations of money and hardware so recently taken from the userbase.

Here is a digest of the blog:

Chase used to be an FA admin, before being dismissed for throwing his weight around and being a terrible admin.

Dragoneer decided to allow Chase back on the admin team and chose to lie to the FA users over it:

04:55] <~Dragoneer> Chase may have had a rocky past previously, but he was a good admin. We're still on great terms. He's basically going to be coming in to help with harassment tickets (and only harassment).
[04:55] <~Dragoneer> Kitashi: He and I got into a fight.
[04:55] <&Kitashi> Ah :x
06[04:55] * @Hendikins twitches
[04:56] <~Dragoneer> Hendikins: ?
[04:56] <@Hendikins> I'm just thinking PR.
[04:56] <~Dragoneer> Again, hence with all admin accounts, why he's on an alt and it's on the downlow. If it comes out, we'll announce it.

Dragoneer ignored the objections of the other staff:

[02:12] <@Hendikins> When we've got a glut of staff, bring somebody else in is a slap in the face.
[02:12] <@Hendikins> Particularly when it is done without consulting the team.

Sciggles is lacking in the qualities needed to be a lead admin:

"When we new admins were brought on, we got the number of tickets down from about 16 pages (100 per page) to 3 pages. Sciggles had an obviously splendid idea of decided to split everyone into "specialist groups" and then saying training was required for said groups! I've got around 8 years of experience as a mod/admin dealing with harassment, so naturally I went into that group. Sciggles then informed me we would have a Skype chat for her to "train" me. She was late. Not only was she late, but when she arrived she had the following to say:

<Sciggles> It looks like it was pulled offline last night so Neer is trying to poke Net-cat to get it back on. That had all the information I was going to give to you on how we handled certain issues. If you had any questions or anything or think something should have been added to it that wasn't was basically what we were going to go through.

By "it", she's referring to a Wiki page with "FA harassment guidelines". She then proceeded to wall of text me with a lot of very generic information I knew within a month of my 8 years doing this stuff.

[...]

I don't think Sciggles is inherently a bad person, but I do strongly think (and the evidence shows) that administrative qualities are lacking. I'm sorry for those of you who have tickets open from months ago (there are 100+ if not 200+ of these)."

The FA coding crisis:

"[17:47] <@Summercat> One of the biggest complaints we have is that we don't have enough coding staff to deal with issues. We have talent onboard already, but we are not using them.
01[17:48] <@SimbaTheLion> Yeah, that seems a bit nuts - I work as a software engineer as my full time job and Kitashi and a few others here also are very techincal.
01[17:48] <@SimbaTheLion> technical*
[17:48] <&Kitashi> I've been trying to change how we do things so we can actually make use of people who have technical experience
[17:48] <@Summercat> I want to start bashing peoples faces in for talking shit about how we treat other coders, but god damn if I don't have that wiggling doubt that they might be right, regardless of Eevee/Crpyto being giant douches.

[...]

You see the people in this chat? The people who actually wanted to get something done and not just give empty promises of "oh it'll be ready on Monday"? Kitashi, me, Hendikins, Summercat. None of us are admins anymore. The very people who had the time, the ability and the skills to sort things out."

Dragoneer:

"I've saved Dragoneer until last for a reason. He owns the site. As you can see from the log just above - he could have helped us, he could have saved FA. He chose not to. Yak did not get the kick up the arse he needed to utilise the talent FA had just waiting to go. Sciggles never received training to be able to administrate efficiently and upset other people pretending to do so. Chase - well. Chase was allowed back on staff, because Dragoneer "trusts him"."

Hendikins

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In the words of Scruffy the janitor: "It's genuine".

Eevee

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- Summercat is so close to realizing that "giant douche" ≈ "correct before anyone else realizes it".

- Rigging a deployment system is hilariously easy.  (Okay, a really good one is perhaps a pain in the ass, but Good Enough is hilariously easy.)  Get a $7/mo private GitHub account (or a free private BitBucket account), put code there, do changes as pull requests, do code review, write a three-line shell script to update production from master.  There are also some more robust deploy tools starting to appear if you want something less hand-rolled.  It's been, what, well over a year since yak started working on this?

- If Dragoneer is this frustrated about the state of development, why is yak still around?  How he talks in private and how he acts in public have never gelled at all and I don't get it.  He's clearly not buddy-buddy with yak, so trust issues and friendship don't really apply.  yak seems to be mediocre at best at most of what he does, and at least a dozen people who know various slices of development have come and gone.  Maybe Simba's right and Dragoneer is just too "nice" to let him go—and instead his website rots under yak's continued presence as a giant roadblock.

SimbaTheLion

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Hiya guys :) Simba here. I like your registration test, had to look up the President though (British!)

I think he's too nice to give Yak a kick up the behind, yes, though I also (and have heard from other people) that Yak might have something on Dragoneer. Regardless, Dragoneer is quite timid as those logs show and struggles with the high intensity decisions as you can clearly see by the people who have gone being amongst the most competent, yet the awful ones being allowed to stay...!

Pi

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The thing I find myself most amused by is the deadlock they seem to have. Yak won't do anything because Dragoneer won't do anything because Yak won't do anything. All of this has happened before, and all of it will happen again, but because I can't leave well enough alone, I had a short little chat with summercat:
Quote from: summercat
<Pi> Hi summercat
<Pi> i know we've had our falling out, but i'm curious as to how the events of the past few days have changed your perspective.
<Summer|CK2> My personal opinion of you hasn't changed in the slightest. Nor has it changed of anyone else on 'The Loyal Opposition', as I've always called it.
<Pi> fascinating
<Summer|CK2> When I get accused of 'sucking up' when I simply agree with someone, that's interesting.
<Pi> okay
<Summer|CK2> Now, if you excuse me, I'm going to go enjoy my digital opiates.
<Pi> okay
<Pi> i'm surprised that your perspective hasn't changed at all, but okay.
<Pi> just as a note, i'd caution against viewing 'the loyal opposition' as some monolithic force directly opposing you
<Summer|CK2> Since I alt-tabbed...
<Summer|CK2> I don't.
<Summer|CK2> Never have. It's a label I apply to multiple disparate groups who don't neccessarily agree with each other on some issues.
<Pi> ok
"we did farts.  now we do sperm.  we are cutting edge." — Theo DeRaadt

an Hoopoe

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think he's too nice to give Yak a kick up the behind, yes, though I also (and have heard from other people) that Yak might have something on Dragoneer.

Do you have any further details about Yak possibly having something on Dragoneer? I've seen people speculate about such a thing, and I think it would be very interesting if anyone has any solid information.

Also, with respect to Dragoneer being too nice, are you aware that he sockpuppeted on FA using the account of someone who died in an accident (and who he personally disliked) to troll someone? Details here:

https://forums.vivisector.org/index.php?topic=533.0

I think that Dragoneer is very two-faced. He can put up a good show sometimes, but he has a very nasty streak as the sockpuppeting shows. I suppose sockpuppeting would fit in with him being timid though: he's happy to attack people if he can hide behind a sock.

SimbaTheLion

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think he's too nice to give Yak a kick up the behind, yes, though I also (and have heard from other people) that Yak might have something on Dragoneer.

Do you have any further details about Yak possibly having something on Dragoneer? I've seen people speculate about such a thing, and I think it would be very interesting if anyone has any solid information.

Also, with respect to Dragoneer being too nice, are you aware that he sockpuppeted on FA using the account of someone who died in an accident (and who he personally disliked) to troll someone? Details here:

https://forums.vivisector.org/index.php?topic=533.0

I think that Dragoneer is very two-faced. He can put up a good show sometimes, but he has a very nasty streak as the sockpuppeting shows. I suppose sockpuppeting would fit in with him being timid though: he's happy to attack people if he can hide behind a sock.

Negative to any solid information apart from that Yak is the only one who really has a clue what's going on with the code - don't think Dragoneer understands how it fits together (even hardware-wise). Can't remember the exact convo I heard that in but I'll have the log somewhere.

Oh - not too nice with everything. And haha, one of the convos I truncated just before he said he wanted to hit me with a sock or something - amused.

Conan

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Quote

[01:24] <~Dragoneer> SimbaTheLion: Yak has been working on the system to allow coders to work on items nd promote them to the site without overwriting other people's work and giving people full access to the site /can/ be dangerous at the same time.
[01:24] <~Dragoneer> I'm *NOT* happy with the direction coding is taken.
[01:24] <~Dragoneer> The coding issue leaves me irate.
[01:25] <~Dragoneer> I am not happy.
[01:25] <~Dragoneer> But I'd rather not discuss the coding issues because that's another issue altogether.
[01:26] <~Dragoneer> SimbaTheLion: I know. I have been *TRYING* to get this setup correctly.
[01:28] <~Dragoneer> Summercat: We're trying to get this done so we can brign in new coders. We have people want on staff ASAP, but we need to fix the structure /to/ bring them on.
[01:33] <~Dragoneer> We've been trying to fix the coding situation to bring new coders on ASAP.
[01:34] <~Dragoneer> No, it's a matter of creating a safe environment for coding where one bad string of code does not take down the site.
[01:35] <~Dragoneer> FancySkunk: I've pushing for it non-fucking-stop.
[01:35] <~Dragoneer> I'm tired of the coding situation and have been trying to help get this fixed ASAP.
[01:35] <~Dragoneer> I'm not happy with it.
[01:36] <~Dragoneer> FancySkunk: AGain, for the nTh time, I am aware of that.
[01:36] <~Dragoneer> I am trying to get it fixed.
[01:45] <Dragoneer> We'll be bringing new coders on soon, as we're really close to cleaning up the backend and the dev documentation.

This is playing like a broken record, because he's been repeating this garbage since December 2011. It's pretty obvious to anyone where the problems lie: Yak does very little, and Dragoneer fails to and is unwilling to exert a single ounce of effort into fixing the problem (removing Yak). This is when the conspiracy theories come into play, because any normal person would just can Yak and get someone else in there to get things in order.

I don't remember where it was mentioned but at some point today I read something along the lines of "Dragoneer doesn't fully understand how FA actually works" referring to the servers and the code. From what I've seen, this is 100% accurate and is a huge part of the problem. He doesn't appear understand how these things work at all (The crazy overspecced servers are a sign of this), so he gives direction to the "tech staff" to get things done but he has no idea how long these things should take. It's fairly obvious that he'll just believe whatever Yak says, and if Yak says it takes two years to get a code repository set up, then that must be how long it takes because Yak is a web developer so he must know what he's talking about. He's "not happy with it" and is "trying to get it fixed" while having no idea how to do this. All he can do is "poke Yak" and all Yak has to do is shrug and keep playing TF2 while mumbling about how HARD it is to set up the repository.

When things do get done, he does not seem to be that bothered by the fact that the vast majority of the "big" features that get put in are bug riddled and broken. The "hide comments" fiasco was spinned to be about Eevee while completely ignoring the fact that a very insecure and badly designed feature was put on the site, with the developer knowing full well how broken it was. The "commission information" tab was the same thing. It was not only badly broken, but a good number of people would look at that and say it wasn't even finished. Through hackings and exploits, Yak emerges unscathed because Dragoneer is too busy villainizing the "hackers" rather than questioning why it was allowed to happen in the first place.

What I really don't understand is how net-cat doesn't say something, but I suppose the friendship with Dragoneer is hampering that too.

Quote
[01:39] <~Dragoneer>  At the end of the day, I have to deal with this shit non-stop 24/7. Every flaw, every admin mistep, every fuck up, every word spoke out of line is all my fault. I take every god damn hit on thie site. Every. Last. Fucking. One. And I'm god damn tired of it. So yes, when it comes to coding, I'm REALLY UPSET because I have to deal with the bugs, the flaws, the delays and eveything
[01:39] <~Dragoneer> else... and I have to take the blame and the hits.
[01:39] <~Dragoneer> And I don't fucking like that.
[01:40] <~Dragoneer> It's not easy to deal with.
Can't handle the heat get out of the kitchen etc.

an Hoopoe

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There is a (closed membership) livejournal group called "Furrydrama_2". I am told that a thread was made on there about these Furaffinity leaks. Sciggles felt the need to hop on there and defend herself. I was given these quotes from her:

Quote from: Sciggles
We normally stay out of drama sites, but I do have permission to say this: These logs have been edited and Simba removed vital information and context which changes the meaning of the original logs.

Sciggles was then apparently asked to provide proof that these logs really were edited and to give further context. She refused, which makes me suspect she was just engaging in reflexive denial:

Quote from: Sciggles
You know I can't without being just as bad as the people doing this. We have an Admin CoC and sharing such logs goes against those rules and calls for admin removal.

All I ask is for people to be subjective.

Presumably she meant "objective".

I am told that the ex-FA admin Hendikins responded to Sciggles asking her what context was missing from the logs. She did not reply, but instead lashed out as she knew only how by permabanning him from FA; accusing him of leaking admin logs. However she presented no evidence he did leak logs and he has stated that he deleted all FA related logs, e-mails &c. after he quit.

She even hid his FA account page, which is a very spiteful thing to do.

The funny thing is, Hendikins apparently didn't even agree with the furryleaks thing:

Quote from: Hendikins
That's just... well, entirely expected TBH. I'm not saying what they want to hear, after all.

The joke is that I'm not really taking sides on this one. I can't say the logs are BS because they're not, but I can't condone the behaviour of the person who released them because it was entirely unprofessional (and I've said as much).

Therefore even if he had kept the logs, no doubt he wouldn't have leaked them.

(Note: Hendikins did not pass me any of these quotes/information in this post).

SimbaTheLion

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Yeah. Sciggles has been naughty, lying like that and once again showing she couldn't administrate her way out of a paper bag.

As such, I'll be releasing a video answering some questions along with some more logs tonight as a part 2 :) . She's clearly trying to convince people still that this is all fake, so I guess we need some more information to clarify things! ^^ Just, so, you know, things are clearer and such, since part 1 still seems to have not convinced some people like Sciggles, sadly x_x .

It'd be nice if the lying and corruption stopped soon.

It would perhaps do some people some benefit to read up on http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Streisand_effect .

Also, from the blog: "9163 pageviews". So much happy. Keep it up, don't let corruption and liars destroy things. The support and almost 100% positive feedback I've received from the community has been /exceptional/ - I fully expected people would be supportive and reassured people of this beforehand, but on this scale? I gotta say thanks :) . I'm just one lion, but when I can pull together so many people like this... I'm grateful beyond words. :)

Edit - another thing, just to make it totally clear - I'm not a staff member/coder at Weasyl as that's been banded around (someone made a Reddit account SimbaTheLyin which is not mine - I made SimbaRules to counter it, don't actually use Reddit myself!), though that is where I feel I can personally contribute best to the community, and I have absolutely no reservations in getting people over there as it seems like a really positive place. From what has happened, the Weasyl admins have said it'd be inappropriate currently for me to be a staff member, though in the future I do strongly hope I can help there as it's certainly the correct direction and way forward to help the community how I can best.

SimbaTheLion

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Heya - part 2's up :) http://furaffinityleaks.blogspot.co.uk/2013/04/furaffinity-truth-part-two.html , make sure everyone sees of course.

Ketsuban

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I presume you're going to be going full WikiLeaks on this and releasing more and more damning evidence of gross incompetence within the admin team until something shakes loose which isn't just Princess Piche waving his arms in the air and demanding everyone ignore the man behind the curtain?

quantityorama

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though I also (and have heard from other people) that Yak might have something on Dragoneer.

Yeah, he's the only one left there who knows the code.  ;D

EDIT:

Also, with respect to Dragoneer being too nice...

"Too nice" is the wrong word. He doesn't want to do anything that will fuck with his "popufur" status. So he's going to play the nice guy in public, do whatever he does in private, and anything that happens to leak out or rise to the surface can be attributed "the haters"/"drama"/etc.

Also, in the case of Yak, I'm not entirely convinced that he couldn't/wouldn't nuke the whole thing from orbit, if he felt like he was on his way out. Lord knows he's done enough already to make sure that he's the only one who touches that code (taking, what, 2-3 years now to set up something that could be done in a day or two?).

Eevee

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There is a (closed membership) livejournal group called "Furrydrama_2". I am told that a thread was made on there about these Furaffinity leaks. Sciggles felt the need to hop on there and defend herself. I was given these quotes from her:
I don't know why I'm a member but I can corroborate.

Quote from: Hendikins
The joke is that I'm not really taking sides on this one. I can't say the logs are BS because they're not, but I can't condone the behaviour of the person who released them because it was entirely unprofessional (and I've said as much).
What does Simba's behavior have to do with the contents of the logs?  I wish we could stop fretting so much about image and appearance, but then I suppose that's the root of most of these problems.

I'm also confused at the suggestion that allowing atrocious internal behavior to continue is a hallmark of professionalism.

Hendikins

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I am told that the ex-FA admin Hendikins responded to Sciggles asking her what context was missing from the logs. She did not reply, but instead lashed out as she knew only how by permabanning him from FA; accusing him of leaking admin logs. However she presented no evidence he did leak logs and he has stated that he deleted all FA related logs, e-mails &c. after he quit.

Yep. All that stuff is long gone, which means I'm limited to being able to verify what I can remember happening.

Quote
She even hid his FA account page, which is a very spiteful thing to do.

Quite cheeky, I must say. Would be a mixture of wanting to hide the ban and hide the link to my Weasyl account, I'd presume.

Quote
The funny thing is, Hendikins apparently didn't even agree with the furryleaks thing:

Quote from: Hendikins
That's just... well, entirely expected TBH. I'm not saying what they want to hear, after all.

The joke is that I'm not really taking sides on this one. I can't say the logs are BS because they're not, but I can't condone the behaviour of the person who released them because it was entirely unprofessional (and I've said as much).

Therefore even if he had kept the logs, no doubt he wouldn't have leaked them.

No, I would not have leaked the logs had I kept them - such behaviour *is* unprofessional. At the same time, I'm also under no obligation to protect the interests of FA, particularly at the expense of the truth of the matter.

In short: I don't agree with his methods and would not have used them myself, but I'm not going to deny or cover up the truth.

What goes around comes around. Sciggles states that the boss does not have to seek approval from the workers to do things (in response to my objections to the appointment of Chase). I state that as somebody no longer on staff, in the absence of any NDA I do not have to look after the interests of the organisation I was previously involved with.

Quote
(Note: Hendikins did not pass me any of these quotes/information in this post).

Correct - these are quoted straight from FD2. Also, a couple relevant quotes from myself on FTW about it:

#1 in response to FA being poorly run:
Quote from: Hendikins
That does seem to be the consensus.

Aside from seeing Chase is on staff again and validating my prior statement(s) that his appointment was an executive decision, most of this is *yawn*/"Here we go again" material.

The biggest problem is the turnover of good staff. We have a lot of potentially (and demonstrated) good moderation staff and coders in this community, yet invariably any that try to improve FA end up leaving out of sheer frustration with those up top. Not everybody gets along on a professional level (just ask Kitashi about me, I don't think we agreed on pretty much anything whilst we were both on staff), but it isn't what makes us walk out.

When those staff leave, they're then faced with the choice of professional conduct at the cost of perpetuating the apparent code of silence, or doing something like this and destroying any professional reputation they may still have. Not a nice situation to be in.

For the sake of the community as a whole, I hope to one day see a better FA... or at a minimum, a sufficiently viable alternative.


#2 in response to a question about whether the logs are genuine:
Quote from: Hendikins
I have to go off memory because I don't have a local copy of them (any more, see above), but at least the ones from when I was around do not appear to be edited beyond a bit of pruning for context. In my case I definitely recall the discussions where my name is mentioned and saying what is attributed to me.

With the Chase incident the important stuff is there - the fact staff objected to it, the fact there was no consultation, the fact it was a direct appointment/executive decision. I'm guessing the only reason there is no transcript of the argument where Sciggles used Chase as justification for separating the team in to groups is that Simba wasn't there at the time.

It wouldn't really be sensible to post a raw, unedited transcript of the channel in question due to discussion of unrelated issues, along with information about moderation activities that are not the business of the public at large (private data about user accounts and moderation actions should stay that way).

FWIW I do explicitly permit Simba to quote anything relevant posted by myself.

Quote from: eevee
I'm also confused at the suggestion that allowing atrocious internal behavior to continue is a hallmark of professionalism.

Leaving aside the fact nothing will change so long as Dragoneer is in charge of FA, and the fact that leaking this stuff hasn't helped prior, not leaking material is not the same as agreeing with, allowing or supporting the behaviour. More than one way to skin a cat.

SimbaTheLion

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I've given Dragoneer a very direct proposition and a way he can fix stuff both in the here and now, and in the past. What happens next is down to that man and no one else. I'll wait to see what he does before I post part 3.

Edit: Haha, custom title! :) Cheers!

nrr

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I've given Dragoneer a very direct proposition and a way he can fix stuff both in the here and now, and in the past. What happens next is down to that man and no one else. I'll wait to see what he does before I post part 3.

I did the same back in 2010, face to face. No dice.

There's also that Carlos guy, also a friend of Sean's, who's supposedly been putting together a brand new codebase with service-oriented architecture in mind, but I last talked with him about that in 2011. We can obviously see where that's gone.

I love the conflation of everything "tech" here as well; there's no definition division between development and operations. That's a mistake for a site that serves this much traffic, no matter how "free" it might be.
im glad the "I saw a furry IRL" thread is so good at bringing goons together

YOUR PARTICIPLES AREN'T THE ONLY THINGS DANGLING

SimbaTheLion

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I've given Dragoneer a very direct proposition and a way he can fix stuff both in the here and now, and in the past. What happens next is down to that man and no one else. I'll wait to see what he does before I post part 3.

I did the same back in 2010, face to face. No dice.

It's a shame. I honestly hoped he'd be responsive. I guess some people never change.

http://furaffinityleaks.blogspot.co.uk/2013/04/furaffinity-truth-part-3-fin.html

That's all for now. I've got more, but this chapter is complete. I wonder who it'll be 2-3 years from now faced with the same problem. I never would have thought it was me sat here today :) .

Eevee

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Leaving aside the fact nothing will change so long as Dragoneer is in charge of FA, and the fact that leaking this stuff hasn't helped prior, not leaking material is not the same as agreeing with, allowing or supporting the behaviour. More than one way to skin a cat.

Regardless of what the leaking implies about Simba, pointing fingers at him will distract people from looking at the substance of the leaks themselves, which is in Dragoneer's best interests.

How do you intend to skin this particular cat?

SimbaTheLion

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  • Uninitiated Rube
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Indeed. The content is the important part, irrespective of presentation. I'm amazed how Dragoneer could still manage to get it wrong after all this. I get the feeling I give human nature too much credit even now...