Statement on the recent ban of Lord Bowser

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Reko Yabusame

I love theming after games I have never played!
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Superchao
A few days ago, the staff of MarioWiki, Marioboards, and the official discord server banned the user Lord Bowser from all community venues. At the time, and with the information we had at the time, we considered a quiet ban was better for the victims of his offenses than making a large public spectacle. With the further information that has come out over the past few days, we now believe that making a public declaration is better for the community, in part by ensuring he never has a place in it again.

To summarize, after we banned Lord Bowser for unwanted sexual advances against a few specific members, we discovered he was responsible for a four-year period of sexual harassment and grooming of members of the MarioWiki community. Several people have privately shared their stories, and I want to say that I admire their openness and bravery in sharing this. For a more firsthand account, with permission, I'm sharing this open letter from 2257, who was one of the people personally targeted by Lord Bowser:


I hope this makes it clear that not only is Lord Bowser never allowed back in the greater Marioboards community in any way, but that nobody here should interact with him - he is not trustworthy or deserving of sympathy, and constantly uses people for his personal sexual satisfaction, placing his own desires above their comfort and safety.

This thread will remain open for a couple days to answer any questions that might need to be answered, after which it will be locked to allow the community to begin the moving-on process.

Thank you for your time.

-Superchao, representing the Marioboards and Mariowiki community staff teams
 

Goku

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Thank you for not outing the victim and not letting that scumbag return in any way, I seen so many times that if a victim comes out directly, blind defenders will rush to bash them, I hope not to see that blind defense here but considering I thought could trust this douchebag, you never know
 

Roserade

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When did he start this? He never did any of that to me. And he acted pretty good here. Is this some kind of outside thing?
The roots of his actions can be traced all the way back to 2017, and all of it happened via private messages or personal servers in the broader scope of the Discord community. It was not something that was ever explicitly demonstrated on the forums or any other "official" venue, which is why it took so long to collect details and recognize the full picture.
 

Reko Yabusame

I love theming after games I have never played!
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When did he start this? He never did any of that to me. And he acted pretty good here. Is this some kind of outside thing?
He was engaging in this behavior since 2017, and he always kept it to private DMs on Discord or other private communication channels. Regardless, the nature of offenses is such that location doesn't matter, and we banned him off the forum in order to prevent him from ever gaining contact with any member of this community.
 

I Argue About Politics

GLAR RADA SHAR, FOOMOO!
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This is unspeakable. I knew Lord Bowser as a brief friend which I've happily interacted with in the wiki until he became a respected member and a staff for the Shroom, which we eventually faded contact with each other as he became busy with the Shroom and made other friends along the way. It's absolutely shocking and offensive to hear of this. I already heard a bit about him through back and forth with my sister, who's staff and knows about this situation and has to chat with me, and I've immediately wanted to take him off all the wiki just for the harassment I've been hearing about.

Unfortunately, the story kept getting worse and worse from there. It was already bad enough hearing from my sister about this, but this pain is almost unbearable for me.

Lord Bowser doesn't represent our community. I feel disgusted this could happen in the first place. I only wish his victims recovery and healing, especially with some of them likely having the dawning realization they were subject to this horrific sexual harassment we only heard about in places like competitive Smash Bros., but here now. I hope they have a safe space to talk to a trusted member in private about this, once they're ready.
 

Hooded Pitohui

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Hooded Pitohui
On behalf of The 'Shroom, I will add that, as soon as information on Lord Bowser's behaviors came to light and as discussions of banning him from community venues began, Lord Bowser was stripped of his role as a former 'Shroom staff member and all ties between him and the paper were completely cut.

Lord Bowser is not welcome, and will never be welcome, with The 'Shroom. He has no connection with the paper and will never have a connection with the paper going forward.

We understand that users place their trust in the paper and its staff to be welcoming, comfortable, and safe, and we want to reassure our staff, readers, and writers that the behaviors Lord Bowser has demonstrated are not tolerated. Anyone who engages in this kind of behavior is not welcome with the paper, and should we ever find out any writers or staff members are engaging in this kind of behavior, they will be promptly removed from the paper.

Like other community outlets and projects, The 'Shroom holds the safety and comfort of its contributors as paramount, and we want to make it known that we will always do everything in our power to keep our contributors safe and keep the paper a welcoming project for everyone.
 

Ray Trace

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I kicked him off the Poll Committee as well, before his ban on the forum.

I can't add much here and fortunately, I hadn't been part of his sexual advances, but I am still saying this as a loving and caring member of this community.

I say this from the bottom of my heart, very sincerely, and the behalf of all community members who he targeted.

Go fuck yourself Lord Bowser.

I hope you don't contact anyone else ever again, I hope no one else gets further subject to your messages, and I hope you get banned off Discord, off the platforms you had been exploiting to exploit people. You always asked for reassurance on how you're not pathetic, how you're not a sad little person; turns out, that was merely a projection of yourself on your true character: you really ARE a pathetic, sad person. Your actions speak for yourself, and goodbye.

-BabyLuigiOnFire
 
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PanchamBro

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I feel sick.

I would never imagine the person that I knew back in the day, the person that I would go to buy items prior to the shop ban, the person that I used to be friends with and had some emotional bonds with in my early years at MarioWiki, would do such sickly awful thing to innocent people.

Hearing this story over and over again made me entirely upset. I cannot express how many lives were hurt because of him. I wish the victims affected a safe and warm recovery, and I hope our community will keep bad-faith users like him away.
 

Reigen Arataka

Greatest Psychic of the 21st Century (not conman)
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I want to thank the mod team and all who were involved in bringing this to light for handling this quickly and properly and taking immediate action to throw him out. This news is absolutely shocking and disgusting. I wholeheartedly hope this is is not the case, but if there is anyone else who we don't know about who engages in this type of behavior, I just want you to know that, like LB, you are not and will never be welcome in this community.

I would also like to offer my consolation to all the victims and my utmost thanks to those victims who came out and told their stories to the mods. That is a level of courage that you should be very proud of, and I think you should know that you have personally done a great deal of good in helping the community be a more welcoming and safe place by helping to bring this situation to light. Lastly, I once again cannot thank the mods enough for taking a firm and unbudgeing stance against this horrible behavior and thusly facilitating a safer environment for everyone. I hope that this event will mark a new chapter of healing for the victims and will ultimately lead to a strengthening of this community in the long term.
 

Done

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The roots of his actions can be traced all the way back to 2017, and all of it happened via private messages or personal servers in the broader scope of the Discord community. It was not something that was ever explicitly demonstrated on the forums or any other "official" venue, which is why it took so long to collect details and recognize the full picture.
Typical of all sorts of abusers, in public charming, in private something else. That’s a tactic actually, so that when victims try to come forward, the abuser is defended by those who only have seen the charming and respectable public behavior.

I wish to extend empathy and sympathy to the victims as they begin the road of healing. I am so sorry for what happened to you, it was appalling what happened to you. I hope and pray you process, express your pain/ anger/ disgust/ etc, and mend in your own timing.
 
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DragonFreak

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I can't believe it came down to this. I used to consider myself a very close friend to LB, but I noticed around 2017 that his personality started to shift drastically, and so I started to shift away from him permanently. I've noticed he started to develop a weird sexual fixation towards others when I stilled talked to him, but I just shrugged it off as him being a horny 18 year old or something. I could never imagine it would ever come to this. I wish I could go back in time, maybe I could have prevented some of this.

I've already emotionally detached myself from him so I'm not too shocked to hear this news. LB, if you're reading this, I hope this is a wake up call for you. Get some help.
 

Thomas the Tank Engine

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I don't really have anything to say other than good on the mods and staff for dealing with the subject quickly and making it clear that scumbags like Lord Bowser have no place in this community and I hope everyone who he victimized manages to get past this, no matter how long it may take.
 

Arle Nadja

Oh no, the ground!
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Damn, this is a bit of a shocker. LB never raised any red flags.

But, I guess this serves as some kinda lesson. Be careful who you associate with. The internet is full of creepy strangers.
 

zelen !!

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im going to be honest. not having photo contests is not an important matter in this situation

anyway. reading this open letter and finding out about what lb did felt sickening. im not good with words for stuff like this but i just hope the victims are, or gonna be, ok. and im glad those kinds of gross people arent allowed on here
 

Hooded Pitohui

The Bird with Batrachotoxin!
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Hooded Pitohui
So.....No more photo contests?
Don't worry. We have plenty of capable members of The 'Shroom staff who will be able to run photo contests, and, should we see a good opportunity for them (when there is a game that many users here have and where it is easy to snap pictures quickly), we will act on it.
 

rollerC

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Coming out of the lurk hole to say… I am really proud of this community. I’ve seen the emotional and mental impact this has had on those directly affected by LB’s actions and their close friends, and I have the utmost respect to those people for coming together and supporting each other in an extremely trying situation. Much respect to the mods specifically as well, for handling this with care, intelligence, and transparency. I am glad to have gotten to know such courageous people.

I’m still processing much of this, and I know everyone else is too. I have so much anger at LB for doing disgusting things to someone so close to me for so long and then befriending me as if he was completely pure. I have so much sadness for the shared trauma we’ll be holding now, the trauma that my friend is now facing. But primarily, I have so much gratitude to share with this group for being proactive and forthcoming in getting LB the hell off this platform and healing each other. Mario Boards has some true leadership to look up to.
 

Roserade

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Roserade
Before this thread comes to its close, there's a few things I want to say.

I was one of the users targeted by LB, and hindsight has uncovered that it was happening to me for the past four years, even when I didn't realize it. I was the 14 year old 22 mentioned in his letter. When I was 14, he was asking me intrusive sexual questions; when I was 16, he was confiding in me that he found me extremely attractive but was concerned about acting on it for "obvious reasons"; an hour into my 18th birthday, he was asking me to send pictures to him. Discovering the true extent of his actions towards me has been unbelievable and physically sickening, and I wish I only could've recognized it sooner.

There's a lot that hurts about this. It doesn't just hurt because he was using me for sexual gain. It hurts because LB is the reason I got a Discord account in the first place. It hurts because he's why I started making further connections in this community, through his server. It hurts because he's one of the primary reasons I joined the Poll Committee and The 'Shroom and started getting involved in leadership. It hurts because I have so much I could thank him for. When I was first returning to the community, he is the one who extended a hand. At a time when I wasn't certain if I'd be making too many friends because of my past or my personality, he came to me and became a best friend. I adored him, to the point where my custom text on the old Marioboards literally read "Ruled by LB since July 2017", and it hurts so bad because now I will never be able to look back at this time in earnest. As I was digging through our dm's to find what he truly did to me, I saw those conversations that felt like glimmers of the friendship I thought we had, but now I will never know if any of it was honest. I will never know if our friendship meant anything in the long-term for him, or if I was just a prop for his own satisfaction. Maybe it's for the best I never learn.

To my friends in this community who have helped to resolve this: thank you so, so much. It was your courage, leadership, and support that allowed me to come forward at all, and I cannot emphasize enough how much it has impacted me, as well as how much it's impacted everybody else he's affected. I can't say thank you to my fellow community leaders, because I consider every single one of you who worked through this a friend. You have my deepest gratitude, and always will.

To the community at large: thank you for your understanding and your support. After this announcement's posting, I have seen a level of bonding and mutual trust among the users here even greater than what we had before. There's no way an event like this could ever be good, but the beautiful silver lining is that we get to come together closer afterwards, and you all have my whole heart.

Though it should be apparent by now, I want to state this very clearly: if you are having a situation like this with another person in the community, do not feel like you need to hesitate to let leadership know. Myself and the other mods will always do our damnedest to make sure that a situation like this never occurs again. My dm's will always be open, if you need to talk. I'm certain the rest of the teams feel the same.

To LB directly, if you are reading this: I hope you have read every word in this thread and that letter, and I hope you have taken it directly to heart. You didn't just fuck up on my 18th birthday. You didn't just fuck up when I was 14. You fucked up with every single person and relationship you damaged, and I can only hope that you move forward from this by really thinking about the person you are and, hopefully, the person you want to become.

Though we cannot change the past, I'm relieved that we can finally close the page on this chapter, and we can always work to better the future.
 
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