From: RPMUD Network Operating Committee To: RPMUD Community Subject: An Open Letter Regarding the RPIMUD Network Awards
In May of 2008, a review of the accounts and voting on the RPIMUD Network revealed significant violations of site policy as it pertained to voting. The code was vulnerable to a user conceivably voting multiple times. Furthermore, numerous user accounts were revealed to be dummy accounts set up to bypass the one-vote-per-person policy of the site. When the votes from these accounts were removed, several games experienced small drops in their vote totals. Accursed Lands, the award winner in both 2006 and 2007, was among those games that experienced drops in vote totals, but it uniquely experienced a very significant drop in vote totals.
Evidence indicates this was accomplished through the creation of dummy accounts in numbers large enough and dated old enough to have dramatically affected vote totals nearly as far back as the creation of the site. Factoring out those dummy accounts, the yearly results were dramatically changed. Accursed Lands, which had led in votes at the end of 2006 and 2007, would have finished anywhere from third to sixth in the vote totals without the benefit of those dummy accounts. We want to emphasize, quite emphatically, that we are not accusing the staff of this MUD of being implicated in this effort, for there is no evidence to corroborate involvement by Accursed Lands' staff in this fraud.
The grave nature of this situation, however, warrants a response. The RPMUD Network Operating Committee painfully deliberated the proper course of action. After considerable debate, we privately asked Accursed Lands' staff to disavow its claims to the awards by quietly taking down references to them so as to not publicly embarrass the game. Unfortunately, the Operating Committee did not receive a reply either in word or action; therefore we were forced to take a different course of action, rescinding all awards given and publicly disavowing recognition of said awards (which we are doing here). Furthermore, because accurate results are impossible to ascertain, we will not reassign the awards. We believe those who did take advantage of the vulnerabilities in the voting system have done a disservice to our network, to Accursed Lands, and to the MUD community overall.
For our part, we are working diligently on developing a new recognition system–one which we hope will not be prone to the type of tampering which was possible in the old system. As we evolve, we hope to raise the bar in being a reliable source of news and information among the RPMUD community we hold dear.
The RPMUD (formerly RPIMUD) Network Operating Committee