Krypton Radio Newswire
This article has been updated with new information from Rembrandt Flux, unfortunate owner of the deleted regions of Bronyville, Derpy and GameTime.
The griefing organization known collectively as Woodbury University
has for the third and hopefully final time been kicked from Second Life.
Their current incarnation was headquartered in the regions of Red Square and Revolution, which were opened to the public on April 22, 2011. Openly brandishing a Soviet Russian theme and playing host to the The Wrong Hands (TWH), their continued existence was one of the worst kept secrets on the grid. Nearly all the original Woodbury members had returned using ban evasion alts; visitors to the Woodbury regions were forbidden to openly speak the phrase “Woodbury University” for fear of attracting the attention of the Second Life administrators. This was despite the fact that the group had even made a machinima style video to clearly state that they had returned to SL.
The situation was finally rectified when, in the early hours of July 18, 2011, it all came to an abrupt end. These two regions were removed from the grid along with their owner Atlas SaintLouis, the Woodbury / Wrong Hands ban evasion alts Twinkie Swizzle (Tizzers Foxchase) and Overbrain Unplugged (Intlibber Brautigan).
Also removed were the regions along with Bronyville, Derpy and GameTime, each owned by Rembrandt Flux, who, far from being some new griefer king, had apparently gotten caught in the crossfire between Linden Lab and the Woodbury refugees owing to the high number of Woodbury in the Bronies groups. According to Flux, he had no efficient means of doing in-depth background checks, going instead on the quality of the example work submitted as to whether or not content creators would be hired. The two facts that he was paying them, with thousands of dollars changing hands, and that so many were Wrong Hands / Woodbury may have contributed to his ban.
Linden Lab acting on information submitted by the Peacekeeping community and other sources, reviewed the SL group The Wrong Hands for materials which could be used for disruption of Second Life services. This action was prompted by Tux Winkler, a known leader in The Wrong Hands, who had supplied images of the TWH groups to Justice League members in an attempt to prove that he had not sent a group notice (which was supposedly leaked to Peacekeeper groups) instructing his fellow TWH members on the availability of new a copybot client. The authenticy of the leaked notice was never established.
The image as shown at right (provided by Tux Winkler), features a group notice sent by now banned TWH member Twinkie Swizzle. The notice contained an attachment which was felt could be an object or device to be used to grief with.
While we will never know if the object was actually a griefing device, it is also possible that Linden Lab removed Twinkie Swizzle for ban evasion, his original account Tizzers Foxchase was removed during the banishment of the second incarnation of Woodbury. The exact reason for the removal of Atlas Saintlouis the owner of Red Square and Revolution, is unknown but suspected to be related to the material used in The Wrong Hands group.
The Bronies Plight
The Bronies are an internet phenomenon, born of a fandom surrounding the My Little Ponies television show. Bronies is a My Little Pony for guys fandom, born of the 4Chan.com partly as a reaction to all the negativity of the /b/tard chan boards. Later invited to form their own chan board and leave 4Chan alone, which they did at http://ponychan.net
The Bronies group in Second Life was founded by Twinkie Swizzle, a known alt of the banned Tizzers Foxchase of Woodbury University / The Wrong Hands. And Overbrain Unplugged, a known alt of the banned IntLibber Brautigan of the same two groups.
(The reader should note that most of the accounts discussed in this article are of avatars now banned; discussion of banned alt accounts where both accounts are banned does not constitute Disclosure, and that this is a third party web site – the Linden Lab Terms of Service prohibiting Disclosure in Second Life do not apply here.)
Curly Fride, a supplier of Bronies avatars, claims to have met the two in April of 2011, stating that he was invited by the pair to join them in a new Bronies-oriented venture. Surprisingly, neither Fride nor a significant number of the Bronies who would later join the group realized exactly who Twinkie Swizzle and Overbrain Unplugged really were. Twinkie and Overbrain supplied organization and funding, whereas it would be Curly Fride who supplied the My Little Pony avatars themselves, without which the community could not flourish.
The group enjoyed explosive growth between April and July of 2011. As an open enrollment group and because of its saccharine, squeaky clean public face, it became popular amongst griefers to join. It’s important to note, that the Bronies group is NOT a griefing group by nature, it is simply a common practice for some griefers to find large open enrollment groups with certain themes or memes they enjoy, and join to try to corrupt the group for their own purposes. While the group was ironically founded by a known griefer it was policed very heavily by its management.
The group stayed peaceful and reasonably trouble free most times, and we should also note that out of the group of 3000+ good members, only a small handful (10-20 if that) were actually considered possible griefers.
The chain of events is a little difficult to follow, but piecing together what we’ve been told from various sources, here is what apparently happened:
The Woodbury / Wrong Hands Connection
Tizzers Foxchase (Twinkie Swizzle) had apparently gotten bored with the stagnant and politically unsuccessful Wrong Hands and Woodbury University groups and decided to try something new. He convinced Intlibber Brautigan (Overbrain Unplugged) to join him. Seeing an opportunity, they invited Curly Fride to join them and created the new Bronyville estate in April, with a second sim called Derpy added two months later.
Curly Fride’s Second Life account login information was apparently either phished or socially engineered to acquire the password sometime prior to July 3rd. Fride’s in-world funds were spent buying troll gifts for various people, with the list of recipients conforming in general to a list of people not well liked in Woodbury University circles.
Rumors flew, one of them being that his account had been hacked by Foxchase, or somebody Foxchase knew, or somebody he had put up to the task. Another rumor says that Fride tried to have his two co-owners removed from the Bronies and Bronies land administration groups via support ticket based on this suspicion. The Bronyville management response was to ban Fride from the Bronyville estate. Within a day, Fride was no longer listed as an owner of these groups, but by this time both Twinkie Swizzle and Overbrain Unplugged had lost their accounts, and the regions of Bronyville and Derpy were taken offline.
Far from being disconnected or detached from the two griefing groups Woodbury University and The Wrong Hands, Tizzers and IntLibber retained their ties to these groups. It cannot be a coincidence, therefore that Atlas Saintlouis, the money figure enabling the existence of Red Square and Revolution, lost his account on the same day that Twinkie Swizzle and Overbrain Unplugged also vanished.