It all started one fateful day with Bors, Billy and Rowen in voice chat. Bors had been recollecting a story that happened outside his apartment where one man shouted the N-word at another, which violated a rule he agreed to follow; no demeaning identity based-slurs, period. Phal had already been receiving a lot of complaints about Bors from Rowen at this point in time. Most of us make the mistake of using these terms publicly which is why its not really a big deal and its not heavily enforced, we simply delete or mention that these words shouldnt be used in public chats and we move on. However, when Billy noted that to Bors, he told him to "get over it" and abruptly left the voice chat. This prompted Billy to document the incident in his docket which made Bors furious.
Just so everyone is aware, Billy's docket exists to protect people from over-moderation. We can't demote or kick people without reason and those reasons have to be recorded for future reference. Members have to break a certain amount of rules to be kicked or banned which has resulted in a positive and clean chat without needing to punish anyone. The idea is to keep the area clean because it elevates the discourse, rather than actually punishing anyone. So Billy keeps a record of every warning he gives and most of the time if the warning is heeded its not even recorded. We sided with Billy because Bors wasn't respecting Billy's job and place within the staff; he saw himself as something bigger or greater probably because of the stature he once held in the community.
We had our first tiff based on his lack of respect for Billy's position as well as the rules he signed up for when he set off on this journey with us. Due to his behavior on old Diplo, Phal set him up with a first strike going out the gate as to remind him of his past transgressions against other community members in the events that led up to the schism. The idea was that we'd give him three strikes before we'd have to take major action but, right now, if I had to count we probably gave Bors 10 chances that we never initially agreed for him to have. We were very lenient.
Bors did very little at first and we gave him a pass because we realized we never set him up with a direction or expectations of work to be accomplished, but we were sure that after we put him on a track to success that he'd start working again. We were hopeful with the first praetorian release despite its flaws and we were extremely happy with the second. Part of website initiatives were to re-purpose it away from a community posting area towards community content creation .The community had moved along to discord and insisting on forum posts for community communication when a fraction of the memberbase were interested in that mode of communication was asinine. Something had to change. Bors was an excellent content creator and so we chose the praetorian as the flagship of diplomunion.com.
So Bors started having issues in his personal life around the time the second praetorian was published and needed to take a step back from Diplo, to which we agreed. We posted many messages of personal assurance and let him know that he could take as much time as he needed to figure things out.
Fast forward to the TOG partnership, Spank and Phal needed graphics and other materials from Bors to which he agreed to provide at the dates they were asked to be provided. A praetorian was slated to be released to announce the partnership and everyone was working to ensure the deadlines we set for project completion were met. A huge pride point of the new Diplo team was that we were efficient and fast moving at getting our jobs done, and we accomplished a lot in the 6 or 7 months leading up to the official TOG partnership.
The only part of the TOG partnership deal was the graphics/praetorian portion. We continually asked Bors for the materials he agreed to give at the deadlines he agreed to have them on and we kept getting requests for extension after extension. Which was really OK, but the praetorian was postponed around 5 times until it appeared it was going to be postponed indefinitely. All during the while we were asking Bors if a bi-monthly publishing schedule was too much to follow through on, we'd be happy with something released at his own pace. He refused us at every turn and assured us the praetorian would be coming at a future date.
As the delays became longer and longer, Phal and I became increasingly frustrated that everyone had finished their portion of the work and the easiest part (i recreated the whole praetorian from scratch in 2 hours in photoshop) was the hold up. I told Bors that in the future I'd be forced to account for the delays and may not even tie any scheduled releases to the praetorian, at which Bors got very upset. He started accusing us of guilt tripping him while I was only pointing out that I couldn't trust his word when it came to praetorian release dates.
We didn't talk for a week at which point Bors decided to go full free speech warrior, said that he no longer found diplo fun and started spamming expletives and slurs in the pub. He received multiple warnings and continued to which he was demoted from being a director and his valued member status. He was at the point where he had to break one more rule to get kicked from the server (according to our moderation rules) but I suppose he wasn't aware.
At the end I feel betrayed by Bors. I feel betrayed because when I resigned in 2010 it was because I felt that Grunty was railroading Bors at every turn. I've repeatedly stated that Bors was the heart and soul of this community, an overly emotional and very passionate figure who took many things too seriously in an endearing way. But the circumstances of his demotion and departure leave me with my head scratching.
In my experience these past 9 months I find that Bors has had a huge issue in keeping his word. Trust is everything to me and he didn't follow through on the rules and guidelines every other director agreed to. He saw himself as above the rules he signed up for. He also didn't follow through on his word with the constant praetorian deadlines. If he said that the praetorian wasn't being released at all we would've moved on and found a different solution, the constant stringing along with the bait and switch really soured my perception of how much I should trust him.
Currently, he now spends his days with the people I fought because they were being unfair to Bors. I don't forget their racism accusations, likening him to a white supremacist, the overly dramatic complaints or when he was unwittingly recorded while drunk and humiliated. We always wanted the best for him which is why we pushed for him to get therapy, get his alcoholism under control.
In the end, I've been on team Bors for 13 years and the moment I needed him to be on mine, he bailed on me. Bors was the person I handed off the community to in 2010. Bors being disrespected and sidelined was the reason why I resigned in 2011 and a huge disagreement I held with Cniper that flared up from time to time. I paid the domain from my own pocket for 3 years because Bors either didn't remember or was beefing with someone on Diplo, and each time I paid I ensured that nobody knew I was paying behind their back so Bors didn't have to worry about being lampooned for missing out on such a small responsibility. I did so much that Bors would probably never be able to repay and I never expected repayment, but its disappointing.
All in all I wish Bors happiness and the best of luck in the future. Its a shame that things ended up this way but I'm sure he sees things differently, but this is my version of events.