This section may be different then others, because I not only researched this section, but observed it firsthand. My experience with the SCP Wiki began on January 22nd, 2012, and has continued since then. 2012 was a year defined by two words: Containment Breach. Nothing else in our history was responsible for so much new attention, both good and bad, from the outside. This essay covers the events in the year 2012.
The fifth year of the wiki started off with some drama. Photosynthetic accidentally deleted the forums. This caused a small bit of panic, until it was restored by Bright. It was the "fourth or fifth time it had happened" according to Mann.
Notably, snorlison rose from inactivity to post about the forum deletion on 05command, indicating that he had been too busy with life to be active on the site, but still following current events.
On January 8th, TroyL posted in the emergency section 05command about the use of deleted accounts to boost the rating on certain articles. Several people had apparently been known to have deleted their account after voting or posting only a few times. Thus, he proposed a policy of not counting votes which had originated from deleted WikiDot accounts in deletion votes. This measure was adopted by staff.
On January 20th, TheRaven discovered a WikiDot wiki based on a MC&D theme, set up by users from SomethingAwful. Additionally, TheRaven posted being uncomfortable with a wiki run by these users, since they had been critical of the site in the past. However, most other staff seemed to have no issue with it, and TroyL pointed out that since staff couldn't tell them not to do something, they should just let them do it and keep an eye on them.
TroyL also began to run a sequel series to his well-liked series "And Then I Died." It was a collection of stories about SCP articles killing people. It lasted for several months, before being shut down by Troy, partially due to difficulty in guessing the SCP objects.
On January 31st, judgedead made a forum post showing the Chinese SCP Foundation translation site, the first time this site had been seen by the English SCP Foundation. Two days later, on February 2nd, EchoFourDelta and TroyL reached out to the Chinese, giving them official recognition and linking them from the front page of the wiki.
February brought about a change for the editing policy on old articles. SCP-090, Apocorubik's Cube, was rewritten by a user named GXS who claimed to be the original author. This was an article that had been written on EditThis, so the original authorship could not be conclusively determined. The decision was made by TroyL, pooryoric, and Photosynthetic to revert the change. DrGears made this post in the thread:
Agreed, orginal author or not, if you re-write something and make it start dropping, it should be reverted. We're here not for anyone's ego (ideally), but to create a positive body of work. Normally, i'm happy to let folks make their own mistakes, but i think a revert in this was a good idea. - DrGears
Later that month, on February 13th, TheRaven made an 05 post calling pooryoric out on behavior in the forums. Yoric had taken it upon himself to edit another users post, and make disparaging remarks in the thread, all because the user soullesshuman(now SoullessSingularity) had claimed that the story was the first they had posted. This was true, in a way. Soulless had posted a creepypasta that had been deleted, but never a tale. They had received staff permission before going to call this tale their first.
In any case, Yoric's actions were seen as entirely inappropriate. Editing another users post because you disagreed with them, or because you were upset at what they had done was an abuse of moderation power. Adam Smascher put it this way in the 05 thread.
Calling Soulless out, whatever, that's all well and good. I couldn't care less. Using moderator rights to edit her post and call her a liar? That's damn petty and completely unnecessary. Making it into an argument in the discussion thread, dredging up a copy of her deleted creepypasta attempt, and posting it with the context of an implicit threat issued in PMs is frankly unacceptable to me. - Adam Smascher
By the next day, administration had decided that Yoric's behavior was severe enough to warrant demotion from moderator to senior staff member. This decision was made by Bright, Mann, Light, and TroyL.
Yoric posted in the thread shortly afterwards, trying to defend himself. Explaining that a series of unfortunate events had caused him to be upset, including mishearing about the death of a friend and having his girlfriends religious beliefs disparaged by other staff members. In addition, he made the claim that the thread had been made two days after the issue had been resolved.
Gears and Troy pointed out that his sense of timing was off, and that the thread had been created before he thought it had been, and that he'd been warned many times about these infractions.
We've told you, several times, to leave soulless the hell alone. We've told you, several times, to be more aware of what you're posting, at that sometimes silence is the best statement. You've been warned many times, by me alone, that you're not on terribly thick ice and that, if there continue to be incidents, action will have to be taken. Yes, it hurts, and it feels wrong, I'm not sure how well I'd take it if i was bounced down, but it should not be a total bolt from the blue. - DrGears
As yoric was being demoted, another old demoted user resurfaced. Dr. Kondraki, who had been stripped of his powers and taken a self-exile from the SCP community several years prior, contacted Dexanote with this appeal:
It'll be three years this June, three years since I was banned from the #site19 chat and left the wiki. Since I caused the chaos that led to my eventual dismissal as an administrator. While the majority of you weren't there, those who were still remember my mistakes.
Some of you might be expecting me to attempt to excuse these mistakes, or attempt to defame those who brought charges against me, in an attempt to ameliorate my own guilt. I did not write this with either of those things in mind, however, because to do so would be dishonest. I did those things, and I was punished for them. My goal however, with this appeal, is not to explain away my crimes, but to simply ask for a second look upon the perpetrator.
Three years is a very long time when placed within the transition from high school to college, from the easy wins and passing grades to a world where things now mattered, and a lack of attention or seriousness could lend towards actual consequences. Simply put, the me that you banned is gone, lost to that moment in time that exists now only in the minds of those who remain resolute on maintaining my ban. I can only imagine that you may still see me as that immature child, who may cause the same problems that you banished me for in the first place, but I ask you to simply take a second look.
While I was never banned from the Wiki, I never posted again after being removed from the chat. This was a simple decision for me, one that hasn't changed since I first made it. The reason is clear: being part of the official chat is an integral part of the creative experience here. I suggested a chat in the first place as a way to better communicate, to more efficiently work together, and to this day it serves this function. So, this appeal is not for my access to the wiki, but to be given the right to once again speak freely amongst the community I once belonged to.
So in conclusion, I would like to state my purpose once more in clarity. I wish to return to SCP, and one again provide content as I once did. Unlike some others who have also departed, I left my work to your hands once I was gone, knowing that it was part of something greater. All I ask is a chance to once again be part of the ever evolving universe that I once so fervently contributed to.
Dr. Kondraki. — DrKondraki
The decision was that, since he had never been banned, Kondraki would be able to return to the site without incident. Although Kondraki has resurfaced shortly several times since this proclamation, he has not been a seriously involved member of the SCP community since 2009.
By the end of the month, what had been the normal trickle of new site users rapidly exploded. Although the reason for the sudden population boom wasn't immediately apparent, it still had to be dealt with. Numerous new SCP articles were being posted every day, and many of them were extremely poor. Staff was overwhelmed as they attempted to deal with this sudden user surge.
just a random look and realization. we've known that tons more people have been joining lately, but this is crazy.
site started in July '08.
from July '08 - July '09, we got about 450 new members.
from July '09 - July '10, we got about 530 new members.
from July '10 - July '11 we got about 625 new members.
from July '11 - present, we have had over 2000 new members, more than all the previous years combined. - RhettSarlin
It would soon become apparent where this surge came from: An SCP game, about SCP-087. The original game was buggy, low-tech, and very primitive. It was also very popular, gaining attention from gaming sites such as Rock Paper Shotgun. It drew thousands of new users into the SCP Foundation community. This surge of new users dwarfed the previous booms seen when the Foundation was featured on TvTropes and other websites. As an example to how things were immediately changed, the lowest pages usually reached prior to the SCP-087 game was between -7 and -10. After the game, entries could get as low as -20, or even -30.
But this would soon be overshadowed by the arrival of an even bigger game. On March 6th, 2012, site user Djoric noted the development of a new SCP Foundation game, called "Containment Breach".
The arrival of Containment Breach is the most powerful event to impact the wiki. Never before had one thing created such an influx of traffic, recognition, and new users. It created the attention needed to inspire the Minecraft mod, and the traffic created by new users was the catalyst for moving to a better site. The game itself is about a D-Class, who is chased by SCP-173 throughout Site19. It also features several other SCP articles, including SCP-420-J, SCP-106, SCP-096, SCP-895, SCP-372, SCP-860, and SCP-079. It is being developed by a Finnish man named Regalis.
This game, combined with the other games inspired by it, brought about a wave of unprecedented traffic to the wiki. We went from having 50 applications in a month to having that many every day. That number kept up every day, and resulted in the number of new articles being posted increasing dramatically. This would cause some great new content to be created, but also caused a lot of headaches for mods and admins.
One of the problems generated by the new traffic was causing WikiDot to glitch and act erratically. These have been everything from seeing other profiles when you log in, constant page refreshing, the website crashing in general, to the forums being disabled, and votes being counted multiple times.
On March 23rd, Mackenzie launched the revamping of the sites tagging system. Previously, users had been able to tag any article with more or less no oversight, and as such, the tag system had become incredibly bloated and unwieldy. While until now, staff had been content to let things stay in the status quo, and there were still a few at this point who didn't believe it, the change needed to occur.
Hundreds of useless or bloated tags were deleted, simplified, and standardized. It was a monumental effort, and one which users are reminded of every day when they're actually able to use the site tags to find articles.
The 3rd of April had more discussion of SCP-076 on 05command, where Adam Smascher proposed the creation of a new rewrite on it. This proposed rewrite would've updated Able to a point where the Foundation would terminate him, following the end of Omega-7. Although several staff members supported the change, it was denied by others, including Kain(the original author) and Clef(the author of the current rewrite).
The original SCP Foundation I wrote for is long gone. We had things that were mere oddities, here because they didn't work well with the laws of reality, bad things and good things, dangerous and beneficial. Granted, I'm not saying we had the best of things, or even decent things, but for me, it worked. Vaguely reminiscent of Eerie Indiana. Sure, there was weird shit, bad things happened, but it was more about the panoply of the bizarre, rather than only the hideous.
Now, it seems that everything we have is some psychological horror from beyond the depths of time and space. There is no good, or even gray, merely differing shades of black. Hope is a useless word, and everything in this world is corrupted in some sort of way. And while that's nice and all, well… It's tiring for me. I don't deal well with that kind of thing. I can't watch scary movies. I can barely play horror games. I have an innate sense for what makes people scared, but that's just me listing what terrifies me.
Despite what people might think, Able wasn't a Mary-Sue for me. I just thought it would be a nice thing to write at the time. And it has been one of the most read, most loved and most hated of anything I've ever written. Do I regret writing it? No. Do I regret how it's changed? No. Do I regret the hate it pulls? Actually, that makes me laugh more than anything. Why? Because they remembered it. - Kain Pathos Crow
In the end, it was decided that the current rewrite of SCP-076 would be allowed to stand, due to its satisfactory rating and mixed reception it had received from other senior staffers.
On April 10th, DrGears made a forum post about a possible new way to structure Project Foundation:
A long, long time ago, we were batting around ideas about the site direction, and I had a thought. Basically, it involves a twin-site concept. Basically, the wiki remains more or less untouched, but as a “factory floor”. Ideas are proposed, worked out, refined and posted, stories written, all of that. However, there is now a “showroom” site, which holds the top entries, the most creepy, bizarre, and generally well-received ones we have, the entries almost anyone can point at and say “this is a good example.” — DrGears
Dr_Kens, a staffer with experience in web design, posted that doing a showroom website would be simple, and not difficult to accomplish. However, Adam Smascher posted asking whether such a site would be pointless, since most users wouldn't care about it and the function was just as easily done with the top rated page. DrGears posted that such a page would be helpful to immersion, but not all agreed immersion was always good:
I'm generally against the idea, because we'd end up with a LOT more of them idjits going 'OMG the SCP is real!' and, well, the idea seems kind of exclusive. - DrBright
There was also discussion on what articles would make it into a showroom site, and which would be left behind. The general consensus was that all articles over +30 would be shown on this showroom site. This applied to mainlist articles, specifically leaving -J's out of the process. It also had the potential to act as a backup forum, in case WikiDot went down.
There were many other similar discussions on 05 about future migration, such as terms of service, slush pile policy, membership, money, and legal stuff.
Senior staffer pooryoric made a return to the forums on April 24th his first major post since the incident in February, explaining why he had been inactive since the soulless incident. There had been a cavalcade of issues in his life which had prevented him from interacting with the community. This was met with a favorable reaction in the thread, where he was informed of new information and generally welcomed back.
The "eric" character was removed from the GOI list on April 22nd, for being more of an in-joke than a GOI.
The Groups of interest page had long been a familiar board of organizations. There had been occasional new entries, such as Dr. Wondertainment and Alexylva University, but these were few and far between. This year however, there were several new groups of interest, including the Fifth Church, GRU Division "P", a Soviet anomaly collecting organization, the Horizon Initiative, a religious organization, and the most popular, Are We Cool Yet?
GRU Division P was created by VAElynx, a fan of Soviet history who had long wanted to make the Soviet Union have a greater narrative presence in the SCP Universe. GRU-P was made possible by him collaborating with a few articles, creating enough content to justify being on the list.
The Horizon Initiative, primarily used by Dmatix and Djoric, was added due to the massive amount of content amassed behind it, including a 001 proposal. It focused on a collection of Abrahamic religions working together with anomalous elements. The Fifth Church was a take on more modern religions, such as Scientology and Evangelism.
Are We Cool Yet?'s addition came after Voct added the entry on April 14th, 2012, the day after he rewrote SCP-1057. This was in addition to several other articles, with the other notable being Yoric's 2011 "coming soon from a gallery near you".
On May 2nd, 2012, TroyL made a post on 05command regarding TheRaven's conduct as an administrator of the SCP wiki. He provided evidence of TheRaven acting rashly, and making knee-jerk decisions when presented with problems. Evidence was provided in several chat logs, which showed TheRaven reacting to several situations in a manner TroyL postulated as not fit for an administrator.
The logs showed TheRaven making hotheaded statements, and generally not acting in the way expected of somebody with administrative capacity. He was voted out of his position as administrator to regular user by a super-majority vote.
Adam Smascher posted about the deletions guide on the 5th of May. His proposals for changing the deletion threshold from -5 to -10 was accepted, as was the new designation of the -25 early deletion point. Other things, such as four votes with a staff member who isn't the fourth voter deleting, were also added.
RhettSarlin made a proposal which may sound familiar to modern readers, when on May 9th he proposed the creation of "Technical Staff". While not being completely similar to the modern staff structure, it is notable that this is the first time a different structure to staff was really proposed and discussed, even if the discussion amounted to a rejection of the proposal.
On May 19th, Adam Smascher posted on the 05 emergency forums, reporting the severe glitching and errors which had been coming off the site, due to the WikiDot infrastructure being unable to handle traffic coming to the wiki. There were problems of posts being repeated multiple times, lag when making a post or navigating to a new page, and being taken to pages you weren't trying to get to.
There was a fear that if WikiDot suddenly collapsed, the community wouldn't be able to recover, being scattered as different people tried to re-organize or recreate the community on their own. The prospect of moving to a new site, which had been somewhat dormant, came back to the forefront. On May 25th, several staff members discussed the possibility of a site move with Raven Mackenzie, which showed that she had been creating new code for a next-generation version of the Foundation website. This would become Project Foundation, a next-generation project for the SCP Foundation wiki.
On the 29th, the deletion guide received a significant rewrite, in light of new site standards and the influx of new users.
Sorts posted on June 4th regarding old test logs, and how to edit them. This is where the consensus of "three staff members to revert" came into being, after some extraordinarily poor testing logs being added to SCP-447 and SCP-423.
By the 11th, the creation of any new guide was suspended, due to an administrative review of the current guides. It had been decided that there were too many guides, to the point that a "guide to guides" was necessary in order to organize and explain them. There were over 30 different guides on the wiki, and it created an enormous obstacle for new people wishing to join.
Sorts posted to the Wiki User section of 05command on June 27th, after a wiki user named "Scroton" had laid claim to SCP-579 and SCP-071. Scroton claimed to be the original author from EditThis, and attempted to prove it by showing his original drafts created in an old notebook. Some staff members were pleased to see old authors returning. However, there was the issue of whether site policy allowed for old authors to reclaim and change works.
I'm conflicted on this. It's something that's either one way or the other - either the author has total control over what they've posted, or they don't. On the one hand, stated wiki policy has been that if an author wants their work deleted (this sounds tangential, but there's a point I promise) then it will be with no questions asked. On the other hand, precedent exists for the author not having absolute control. — Adam Smascher
The precedent referred to is the SCP-090 rewrite, which was reverted after the original author changed the article and resulted in it nearly being deleted. This set a precedent for staff control over older articles, and an ability to revert if old authors changed things in a way the community thought worsened its quality.
The guide reform was completed on July 17th, with new versions of the deletions, tagging, how to write an SCP, object classes, and others being streamlined, or moved to the new "essay" format.
On the 22nd, a user named Squonk asked for permission to join the site. He was Fishmonger1, and he claimed to have penance for his actions years ago. His message to the site was
Hello, Gears. It's Fish.
Two years ago I was a total jerk to you and a lot of other people. I don't mean the separation from the site; that was just the coup de grace of a long suffering period of asininity. I would like to start off the message by sincerely apologizing to you and the rest of the site for my behavior and my flagrant and repeated transgressions against the SCP community. I was, in short, out of control, and you and the other admins did what you had to do to effect control, leading up to and including my expulsion from the site. I do not hold that against you; again, I was a complete asshole and the punishments enacted against me were both fair and warranted.
I'm approaching you about this subject now for two reasons. One, because events of the last two years have caused me to realize how much of a bastard I've been to many people, and that I don't want to be that person anymore. I have tried to make considerable changes in my behavior and my attitude over the past two years in order to better integrate with people in both my real life and on the internet. I've been fortunate to have many people help me in that regard, not the least of which is my domestic partner, whose patience and determination has been greatly influential. I'm frankly humbled that after causing so much misery in the world that there are still people who think I am worth the effort to try to help.
The second reason is because I have, as you tried to explain to me two years ago, only hurt myself and the fans of my work by having you take down my submissions to the SCP. I don't propose that those should be reinstated; too much history has occurred in the interim for that to be canonically practical, and in any case I wouldn't suggest it anyway, as I realize that would be arrogant. But, if it is acceptable to the administration, I would like to request my reinstatement as an author. I ask for no special privileges. I'm willing to perform any atonement deemed necessary; I will start from square one, go through boot camp, jump through whatever hoops are set before me to prove my desire is sincere; indeed, this is why I have started a new account rather than attempt to salvage the old one, and have come to you openly rather than try to hide my identity. I would only like the chance to add something again to the site and perhaps, in some small way, reverse the damage I have caused previously. If it is ultimately decided that such a provision is not worth the risk that I will return to old habits, and my plea for redemption is denied, then I will also accept that judgment without complaint as fair and make no further attempt to sway you.
Thank you for your consideration. — Fishmonger
While there was initial positive reaction from newer staff members, the older ones who had suffered through the Fish debacle balked at the idea of allowing him to return to the site. His appeal was declined.2
In the 14th of August, Quiknruvn posted in the emergency section of 05command that DrGears WikiDot Pro account had expired, and as such no additional images could be uploaded. Immediately, there was a scramble to contact DrGears, and to purchase another Pro account.
Gears was not available, due to pressing difficulties in his actual life. In a discussion lasting until October 3rd, it was decided that, since any fundraising funds had been spent on the last pro account and for testing of a possible future site hosting, and since DrMann had controlled the account which paid for both of those, that Mann would be made the Master Administrator for the purpose of keeping the Pro Account active.
Most of the threads in the mostly-unused voting section of 05command were also added in August, about membership, submissions, and the rules of voting. There was also a later thread in November about having numbers in usernames.
On September 12th, murphy_slaw, Drewbear, Djoric, Eric_H and Roget were put up for senior staff promotion, with Soulless being placed up for moderation on the 29th. All were given promotions by the end of the 16th, except Roget, for whom it was decided more time was necessary. There was one administrative promotion done, which was the first to be done using the new system. Sorts was nominated by TroyL, after a series of discussions with other administrators.
It was pointed out to me today that we did have someone we'd talked about promoting to administrator a few times now, and given his current level of work on the site, I was remiss in not bringing it up. From now on, an individual thread will be made for each rank for all potential promotions. If no people are up for promotion, a thread will be made noting that fact (as you might have noticed with the moderator thread that was just made).
But we do have someone.
To Administration: Sorts. - TroyL
The promotion went through unanimously.
Necroposting came up in early October, with a general consensus of it not being a big deal, with general consensus saying six months was long enough time for an inactive thread to be locked down.
On October 8th, 2012, far2 made a return appearance in the forums, posting a WikiDot module which could serve as a back/next button. This was followed by a brief period of activity, as far2 began writing a story based on a post he had created in another thread, about Foundation energy sources. When it was posted, the story was met with a mediocre response and was subsequently deleted3. Following this, he resumed inactivity and has not posted since.
On October 11th, after an informal agreement in the staff chat, Dexanote removed the IRG group of interest from the groups of interest page. It'd been decided that since the IRG was a real organization, it shouldn't really belong on the page. However, no note was made of this deletion on the page or on the admin site. People quickly noticed, and raised a fuss about it.
Wiki user Gaffney volunteered to change the IRG into a more palatable and fictional organization, the Office for the Reclamation of Islamic Artifacts, or ORIA. Most articles which were attached to the IRG were switched over to the ORIA, with the exceptions of Bijhan's personnel file and several archived articles which had been authored by Bijhan.
On October 19th, the SCP Foundation forums became inaccessible to normal user access. The issue lasted from 8:18 AM(EST) to 2:14 PM(EST). It was caused by a bug on WikiDot, related to a new feature they had introduced shortly before the incident occurred, and had affected numerous other sites.
On November 26th, Sophia Light retired from Administration, and took up a position as a moderator. It was simply too much to try and keep up with the new pace of the site, in addition to balancing real life business.
This has been a while coming, but I've found that- now and in the likely future- I've been unable to give the wiki the time or attention that it deserves. As such, I'm officially stepping down as administrator, back to mod. It's been good run, but I think this will suit me and the site best.
Cheers, everyone! — Sophia Light
On December 11th, the second round of regular promotions began, with staff and mod promotions being given. Roget, Dmatix, Silber and Jekeled up for staff promotion. After a 3 day period of voting, Roget, Dmatix, and Jekeled were promoted to senior staff. Silber received 54% of the vote, which was deemed by administration to be insufficient to justify a senior staff promotion. For moderation, Heiden, Drewbear, and Eskobar were nominated, and each received a unanimous backing from all voters in the pool.
Later in December, an SCP Foundation themed modification of the PC game "Minecraft" had been created, and was being distributed through the Minecraft forums. This in of itself was not an issue, but the mod was another case of improper licensing and attribution. The mod creators had claimed copyright over all the modifications resources, which was invalid due to the creative commons license.
Senior staff members were able to contact the modders. When an initial post on their forum was made by EchoFourDelta, there was initial misunderstanding from the modding community that they were in some way being punished. This was soon smoothed over, and the modders were able to successfully apply the creative commons license to their product.
With the Minecraft mod adding to the overwhelming amount of improperly licensed or non-licensed materials being produced, administration decided that something had to be done about the situation. Prior to this, an unofficial guide to the Creative Commons Licence had been created by user Syka, but a more substantial and official document was needed to show the numerous license seekers how to obtain it. So, on December 12th, the Licensing Guide was created.
This guide was a brief, but detailed explanation on how outside parties could create, sell, or otherwise distribute merchandise based on the SCP Foundation. It went over how to properly attribute the works they were deriving, the limits and restrictions placed on selling these items, and a simplified but informative guide on the share-alike portion of Creative Commons.
Later in the month, on December 24th, the SCP-RU site posted a guide of XK-Class scenarios. This page was eventually downvoted into deletion range, due to the canon of the page being closer to the SCP-RU site, and using some Fishmonger details.
So, this concludes our trip through the history of the SCP Foundation wiki, at least for now. After a not insignificant amount of time, hopefully the end was worth the wait. My goal is that, by knowing our history, we will be able to know the mistakes and triumphs of our past, and be able to apply it to the future. Maybe we'll have more sweet contests, or move to a new site, or maybe something unexpected will happen that totally blows us all away! I see a great future for this community, and I look forward to experiencing it with you.
Thank you for reading.