Warning, long read...
As some of you probably know by now from his PM's, Rabi was demoted from being a moderator today. Seeing as how this has basically been made a public item already, I figured that I would chime in on the matter to attempt to explain our side as well.
Rabi has a side project that you most likely are aware of by now: mmamental. Seeing as how we very casually partnered on a radio show in the past, Rabi and some other members expressed an interest in getting some MMAPlayground podcasts going some time ago.
This is something that we were definitely open to, pending the completion of the new version of the site. This new site has (obviously) not been completed yet, which is my fault completely. I'm not here to make excuses, but I'm only programmer for the site basically, and I'm way late on getting it finished. I'm not going to bore you with details, but I do have a full-time job, a side-job that actually pays me, a girlfriend, and have recently moved to a new state. I have dropped the ball too though TBH.
At any rate, Rabi progressed (quite well) with his side project, and because he wanted to partner up while we were unable to he got permission to promote his project a bit on the forums, so long as he didn't get spammy with it, until something could be worked out. I wasn't going to tell someone what they could do with their free time, and it's not like he's a 100% direct competitor anyway.
During this time I've received many complaints from members and mods alike, which trickle up to the site's owner too, about Rabi promoting his stuff a bit too much, going so far as to recruit people off the site for his own projects. There were a few conversations that Rabi had with me and at least 1 other moderator about some of these things, but it sort of just continued on.
Now it came to my attention from many of the same mods and members that Rabi was now partnering with a competing fantasy MMA site as you can see by the way it is promoted on his website, and the way it is promoted on his radio show http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=23bSuCRjTQI
- first 30 seconds in if you're interested.
To the site's owner and staff here (which I am a part of) it is a CONFLICT OF INTEREST
for someone to be a moderator and leader here with access to the inner workings of the website while they are actively working to promote a direct competitor, nevermind the aforementioned mmamental promotion stuff (which I will take some of the blame for).
Now, Rabi WAS NOT banned, didn't have any of his achievements removed, and was free to post news items from his site still so long as they follow the site's rules like the other news posts. He just wasn't allowed to be a moderator and have freedom to promote and get away with recruiting people as he had reportedly done in the past.
I conveyed this to Rabi. His response was sent to me and 5 other people, and I've already seen it mentioned on the forums by someone else entirely, so I'm sure there's probably at least a handful if not more that got his reply.
His reply was against forum policy in an obvious way to boot. If someone decides to send PM's to a bunch of people promoting a product (especially a competitor) it is generally called "spam". Now I know this isn't spam, but the point is that it was kind of sad and also felt like a kick in the nuts for someone who was generally a true all-star member of the site to go out while trying to take people with him for games on our competitor's website.
Even after all that, his account isn't banned or anything. Rabi you're more than welcome to reply, seeing as you've already put this into the public anyway and everyone is entitled to their opinions on things. It is what it is, there's not much that can be done at this point. I wish things were different, but I really don't feel as though I've acted improperly.
I can also see how it would be very easy to feel slighted in his position. Rabi has for sure invested lots of time and hours into this website in the past. Ending something that we viewed as a privilege was obviously not the same viewpoint that Rabi had about things.
Regarding competition: I honestly have zero qualms with mmavictor. I don't know them personally, but this is the internet - there are going to be multiple sites of the same genre, let's be real. Competition isn't even a bad thing. Hell, maybe we'll both push each other into having better and better games down the road. That being said, there's no reason for us to go out of our way to promote someone that is partnered with a direct competitor, moderator or not.
Also too - how can I ask other members to not promote their own products and services on the site? How can the site's owner ask people to spend money to advertise on the site while other people can find ways to get their stuff promoted for free or seond-hand free? Hell, if we had regular active advertisers we wouldn't have to have the annoying-ass ads that we currently do.
Sorry for all the rambling, that's all I can think of to say at the moment.