Arumi Velociraptor | sudo -426 int Profile picture
Nov 7, 2023 23 tweets 6 min read Read on X
Remember how the quirky "write a book in 30 days" #NaNoWriMo program allegedly ignored reports of minors possibly being funneled to a ADBL fetish site from their forum & allegedly didn't investigate even tho it allegedly involved one of their mods?

*Pepperidge Farm Remembers*🧵

So, back in May I was part of a group of 100+ users who uncovered this.

It was freaking *bad*. Like, trauma territory. First thing we did is file a FBI report.

We then reported it to #NaNoWriMo. “hey you need to investigate this since this person is a mod & these are minors”
They were like "cool we'll look into it!"

We waited.

And waited.

A month passed.

This mod was *the only person in charge of modding NaNo's underage users*.

Their mod powers weren't being removed, no updates from anyone, and we were being ghosted.
Not only that - the fetish site mysteriously locked down & started purging data.

Presumably, someone tipped them off about our report. So, even if NaNo *wanted* to investigate - it was too late.

The site was likely being scrubbed.
So, we built a case & got the user de-modded over *entirely different CoC violations*.

Because we still believed there might be an investigation.

But, the mod still retained *multiple* forum accounts, was still listed as a mod & was still interacting with the minors onsite.
Finally, this October, we were like "OKAY WTF". The NaNo forums had a thread for user concerns, & we asked about it there.

We finally got responses.

"We didn't see an issue with them being on the site. If we did, we would have acted".

Investigation: failed.
Naturally, we asked more questions in the public feedback thread, but got no actual answers. In fact, one of the other mods got defensive.

Was there an investigation?
We don't know.

The ex-mod, still on the forums, started posting threats offsite. They knew who we were, now.
When they threatened the NaNo org, they finally got banned.

Did I mention this person was the one primarily responsible for onboarding most of NaNo's current forum infrastructure, and publicly bragged about having access to sensitive user data?
Others began coming forward with stories about being groomed as minors by NaNoWriMo forum moderators.

One person made a post exposing another mod for grooming, and their thread was INSTANTLY deleted.
This all came to a head today:

The user feedback thread — the primary place people were asking questions about this, was shut down with no prior notice.

Users were silenced, posts were deleted. NaNoWriMo apparently wants to shut this discussion down.

Also today:

Moderators were told in mod-chat to shut down any further threads.

Users were banned from posting in the Public Moderation Record.

DO NOT LET THIS DIE. Warn every minor in your life not to participate in #NaNoWriMo or the Young Writer's Program.

It's not safe.
Update (from friends):

This info is now being actively purged from #NaNoWriMo ML discords, with a prepared response posted in its place.

Anyone who posts it is instantly banned.
Look, I've been a forum mod *so many times*.

When you get a tip that one of your mods might be being inappropriate with minors - YOU SHUT THEM DOWN INSTANTLY. De-mod, freeze their account, and investigate.

That NOT happening is what tipped us off that something wasn't right.
Like, this is really low-hanging fruit.

If you want to let minors register on your site, do the *bare minimum* to keep them safe. Investigate reports of grooming/exploitation!

Like, what kind of investigation happened? "We talked to the mod and they said they didn't do it?"
The safety of minors online is REALLY important to me.

In January, I called out Roblox for hosting inappropriate games targeted at young children.

I never thought we'd have to police for alleged predators on the *fun writing whimsy site*?? #NaNoWriMo

In December of 2022, the #NaNoWriMo winner page directly funneled users to two vanity presses that charged $10k+ in publishing fees. When users exposed this they were banned from the forums & an apology was posted to the vanity press sponsors. 2023 was supposed to restore trust.
#NaNoWriMo let go both their lead mod & community manager recently, & is now running on a skeleton crew.

Even without the crazy situation with this ex-mod, there’s just no way they can keep kids safe on their site.

They can’t, or they won’t. That’s been made abundantly clear.
Update - the #NaNoWriMo forums have gone full-on nuclear.

Users are writing beautiful, heartfelt posts that are instantly locked, their accounts silenced.

In the mod chat, mods have been told to remove anything that criticizes HQ.

This is only one - there are so many more.
Many people contacted the #NaNoWriMo board of directors. They knew NOTHING about this.

Rumor is the forums may be shut down and/or set to "read-only" within the next week.

This means they'd rather *shut everything down* rather than fix the structural failings that caused this.

Users from the #NaNoWriMo Young Writers Program (specifically FOR minors) are now sharing testimonies about moderator mistreatment.

No one was helping, so the kids made a WEBSITE.

I'm so angry. These kids deserved better.
These kids from the #NaNoWriMo Young Writer’s Program sometimes went WEEKS without a response after reporting abuse or mistreatment.

Sometimes they were ignored.

Sometimes the “safe” adults DIDN’T BELIEVE THEM.

#NaNoWriMo staff has failed them in every single way.
Update: the #NaNoWriMo board of directors have closed the forums (read-only) for a REAL investigation, have received 150 pages of evidence from members & 50 pages from NaNo HQ.

No word yet about the Young Writer’s program. Mods banned at least one YWP kid who shared a testimony.
I want to thank everyone on the team that brought these issues to light. FINALLY, something's being done.

Keeping the internet safe for kids is challenging enough, and ousting alleged predators should NOT HAVE BEEN THIS HARD. We didn't give up, even with so many obstacles. ❤️

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More from @Arumi_kai

Mar 28
WELP. We finally found out why #NaNoWriMo never investigated reports of child predators exploiting minors in their organization, via leaked DMs by staff members.

And it’s way worse than simple incompetence.
Via leaked screenshots, we have current #NaNoWriMo staff members stating that the allegations were just “purity culture enthusiasts” trying to slander one of their moderators.

Their investigation was basically asking the mod, “Did you do this?” And the mod saying “Nope!”
This was the likely narrative fed to all staff, and explains:

* why everyone was so dismissive when the allegations were brought up

* why the new ED also dismissed the allegations (they were briefed by the past ED)

* why there was a lack of urgency to remove the moderator
Read 7 tweets
Jan 4, 2023
Alright, I’m done. DONE.

I deleted my kids’ Roblox accounts, and recommend you guys do too.

I just spent six hours playing the games meant for 5-year-olds and it was freaking awful.

Something is very wrong with Roblox Corp.

Screenshots/video to follow.
Look, I don’t subscribe to the “violent video games cause bad kids” theory (which has been disproven).

This isn’t about that.

It’s about Roblox *manually* curating content for LITERAL KIDS age 4-8 that should never have made it past their supposedly age-gated moderation.
These in-game experiences have hundreds of millions of visits already (and 3-10k active kids online at any time), so maybe the damage has already been done. But I get the feeling most adults aren’t checking what content their kids are playing.

Time for a journey.
Read 22 tweets

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