[EDITORIAL] The Rise and Fall of Toxicity in CP Armies

KLONDIKE, CP Army Media Headquarters, Coolguy’s Desk – Over the years, CP armies has been a force that has been constantly growing. With this, many new people have come into the community and many old people have left. As a result of this, one problem with the army community that we all have faced in one way or another is “Toxicity.”

Please note: The following post is an editorial and contains the writer’s personal opinion. It does not represent the views of CPAM as a whole. 

Armies have been around for many years, Ice Warriors are proof of this as they recently celebrated their 13th birthday. However, this long-run for CP armies has been difficult for everyone. With society changing and becoming more equal, there have been many changes in terms of how people talk and can talk about certain subjects. Racism is not tolerated in many armies, however, many people still insist on making these comments. This may have been more tolerated back in the 2010s as leaders and members made racist comments yet the punishments in some places were less severe.

Recently, Eastern Hancock Underground Mafias Army came back to participate in the Legend’s Cup X to fill an open spot. During the event, there was an incident that took place involving EHUMA and some members of the community. This incident involved racist comments being made. EHUMA members broke the rules of CPAM by openly being racist. CPAM doesn’t support any kind of hate or toxicity.

As shown above, UMA members were seen making discriminatory comments

Argument 1: The army community has become more toxic as time has gone by

The army community has been around for over a decade and it has grown massively since it began. Pinpointing a specific period of time where the community became toxic is not possible, toxicity has always been around. Not everyone experienced the toxicity that did occur in the past but many did. The new age of technology has been a blessing for all of us but also a curse. Humans are becoming more advanced every day, learning new skills and techniques. Unfortunately, due to this, many threats have surrounded people in the army community, both now and back then.

Doxxing isn’t a new thing in the community and even back in 2010, it was something that members of the community would threaten others with. They would try to get your details (full name, email address, picture, etc.) and threaten to publicly post them. Such things were easier to find back then as we had less protection against hackers and others. Some would even use such details to force armies to surrender land, to close their army and even to delete their Xat account. However, a lot of the CPA community was and still are young so many were just threats while having no means of getting others’ details.

Due to the development of technology, hacking and other cyber attacking means have increased significantly in terms of the number of cyberattacks that take place yearly. CPA is no exception as many have claimed to have been hacked, having their own servers defaced. In recent months, Help Force declared war on Recon Federation of CP. RFCP‘s leader, Prior, had to say that any real-life threat including doxxing would result in HF‘s immediate forfeit. The fact that they had to say this speaks volumes as such threats were “trendy” at the time (click here to read).

We asked CPAM’s Chief-Executive-Officer, Emcee for their opinions on whether or not there has been a rise in toxicity within the CPA community, here’s what she said.

I’m not sure that there has been a rise in toxicity. I haven’t gone about measuring that nor do I know where I would begin with that off the top of my head. What I think, though, is that cultural shift in any community is going to happen so it’s less about how much toxicity there is now and how the dynamics have changed.

So, in my opinion, there is toxicity but what kind and how it’s perceived has changed dramatically. There’s a lot of people out there who recognize it and call it out now and people who don’t see it as normal or okay. It’s the internet so there’s always going to be people out there contributing to cycles of negativity.

However, I think CPA’s tolerance for that varies depending on the crowd you’re hanging with. In the current league discord chats we have, that toxicity isn’t as prevalent publicly as I’ve seen it in the past. It’s definitely been worse. However, there’s always people behind the curtain that ruin it for everyone trying to make the community a better place and I’m not sure we’ll ever be completely rid of that, though we try our best to limit it.

How has the community become more toxic?

While doxxing was becoming trendy, so was multi-logging. Multi-logging may not explicitly come under ‘toxicity’, but it has become the new trend as many armies are following suit. Armies who continue to multi-log will face the consequences as it is prohibited.

Last week the Legends Cup X took place, this was a highly anticipated event but the unexpected occurred when Pirates went to fight Crimson Guardians in what was to be an easy win for Pirates. Despite this, Pirates‘ high command multi-logged using many ‘alts’ and got themselves disqualified from the cup!  However, this is not the only case of multi-logging. Earthing, a once-respected member of the community was caught multi-logging for People’s Imperial Confederation and selling bot scripts to other armies! He sold these bot scripts to the likes of Templars as well as other armies. This shows the increase of toxicity within the army community as these stunts are becoming even more trendy.

Racism, as well as homophobia, are also acts which have been increasing within the community. Although some armies are actively celebrating pride month, others are doing the opposite. Armies, as a whole, are improving and making the community a safe place for everyone yet some members are not so welcoming to this. ‘Pride Month’ has seen many armies changing their server icons in support of it. However, a member of the community came into SWAT‘s server and made homophobic comments about the LGBT community. SWAT‘s leader quickly banned him, yet he continued making these comments in a member’s private messages. Luckily, we have these messages that we can show you.

The user made many homophobic comments which were quickly deleted. This is not the only case of homophobia as some members of the community are openly making comments in servers. Within the community, discriminatory language is usually prohibited. Forestar is a prime example of what you shouldn’t do.

These are just some of the reasons in favour of the statement ‘There has been an increase in toxicity in CPA’. CPA has become different overtime but toxicity is still in CPA and continues to be a problem.

Argument 2: CPA has become a less toxic community over time

As a community, CPA has become less toxic. During the start of the community, there were fewer rules and fewer restrictions and as a society was more open in terms of what we could say. Discriminatory language was and still is frowned upon, yet there are a lot more restrictions today than there was in the past. This could be a result of society changing into accepting all while protecting those within the community.

CPAM is consistently trying to keep the community safe and clean. In the past, many members of the community used the word ‘gay’ as an insult, both in-game and out of it. As a result, in CPA: The game, players could not use the word ‘gay’ as it is censored. However, some CPAM members and staff have been mentioning this and there have been talks about making the word available for everyone to use. They may be un-censoring the word, which shows that the community has become less toxic and if it hadn’t then these talks wouldn’t even happen because of the immaturity of the players that would be using it as an insult.

As proof of the community becoming less toxic, recently armies held events in support of ‘Pride Month’. Armies would log on to a CPPS, some were wearing rainbow coloured uniforms instead of their normal uniforms. Also, they would have special tactics in support of gay pride. Pride events were not held when armies were using CP and have only occurred most recently. This shows that the community is making progress and toxicity levels are decreasing. With many armies flocking to celebrate Pride month, armies are opening their arms to other communities. Armies wouldn’t have done this in the past.

At the start of Pride Month, RPF quickly rallied to CPA:The Game in support of Pride.

How has toxicity been dealt with on past and recent platforms?

On Discord, the community is being generally more accepting of those of different minority groups. In the past, many members of the community used to use racial slurs such as the N-word. Some members would say these racial slurs on a daily basis, even to minorities themselves as it seemed acceptable back then, not many had a problem with it, or so it seemed.

While Xat did allow people to automatically get “bad words” censored, this didn’t stop members from using these racial slurs. Today, however, members aren’t using racial slurs such as the N-word anymore, they have censored themselves. While some may continue to make comments, a lot of the community has adapted to this new society and have become more welcoming to different minority groups.

Before CPA: The Game was released, armies were divided with many using CPO while others were using CPR. Super called a community meeting to unite all armies once again. While at first, there was some tension in the air, especially between CPO and CPR armies, many flocked to CPATG after the closure of CPO. With the closure of CPO, many armies were without a CPPS and a place to recruit. There have been many allegations about what supposedly went on in CPO, the lack of moderation allowed this toxicity. However, when Super united the community, he wanted to keep it as clean as possible. CPATG is only for armies; moderation of the game is highly important as the moderations need to keep toxicity out of the game. In the game, there were censors on some words and phrases but there was a decrease of toxicity within the community

We decided to ask Superhero123 about how he dealt with toxicity within the game and if, in his opinion, there’s been a decrease in toxicity. His response is below:

The steps I took were the following:
First of all, a new chat filter was implemented shortly after the merge to block curse words from passing through. Another precaution I took is the fact that I carefully selected the moderation team, to make sure it didn’t contain any toxic individuals. Last but not least, I kept sensitive information like emails and IP Addresses only available to myself, to avoid any possible risk of someone using that information to harass people.

Toxicity is still prevalent in the community, but I think that overall its a healthier environment than original armies.

Has there been an increase in CPAM’s discord server in comparison to past CPPS’/News servers?

On the CPAM discord, while things may get busy at times, it is clear that the army community is united. There have been a few members who have added toxicity into the community but these are the minority and there’s a lot less than there used to be. At times, community members may get into heated debate or conflict between armies but many armies remain respectable. While during army conflict, members may seem to be against the opposing army some still have respect for each other and because of this, wars haven’t been a massive part of the community.

On CPAM’s discord server only 78 people have been banned! CPATG has been around for a year and the server has been around for longer than the game yet only 78 have been banned! However, in CPAL over 1k members were banned. In comparison, CPAL had 922+ more people banned from their discord server.

In the community, there’s been a sense of family and togetherness as many members are doing everything they possibly can to keep CPA alive. While this may not directly be linked to toxicity, the amount of toxicity has decreased because of this. While under the same roof, the community s united again, many may try to create their own leagues and CPPS’ but this is because of their love of the game and the community.

Argument 3: The amount of toxicity has not changed within the army community, it has stayed the same.

In CPA, toxicity is hard to track as people define toxicity differently. Also, the army community is massive and it keeps expanding daily, it’s impossible to know everything that happens. As a society, we have developed and the whole world has changed since the start of CPA. In society, many minority groups have accepted into the community and their rights have changed dramatically. Many comments that were considered acceptable are now deemed unacceptable. This is most likely because of the change in society as a whole, with the minorities having more rights than they used to, derogatory/discriminatory language is not acceptable in the community and can be considered as a major offence in some countries.

The argument that is being put across is that CP armies haven’t become more or less toxic but they have always been this way. The rules of society have changed over time so, as a community, we have had to adapt. Maybe the community hasn’t become more toxic, maybe it’s always been toxic but we just didn’t know it. In the past, many members made jokes about the past, for example; many people would often joke about Hitler and the Nazi’s. If members did this today, it would be considered inappropriate and toxic. Serious consequences would be facing members who made these jokes/comments.

Recently, Templars invaded Coup Crusaderscapital White House. However, this event sparked controversy as a random member logged on in Templars’ uniform and started to make racist comments. The battle continued despite the member’s actions. However, during the battle, Super quickly banned the member who continuously made these comments. While many members may have joked about the past war during previous generations of CPA, this is no longer acceptable

This supports the argument that the CPA community hasn’t become more or less toxic, rather it has stayed the same. ‘Toxicity’ has many different meanings but no matter what people class as toxic, toxicity has been in the community and there’s proof of this. Recently, many armies multi-logged on CPATG, this is something that the CPATG moderators are able to confirm. Multi-logging was harder to prove in the past since no-one was able to check CP itself. During the past, many armies got away with multi-logging and it is thanks to Super and other members that we are able to verify users multi-logging.

Since there isn’t a way to accurately check the rise and fall of toxicity, to say that it has decreased may be incorrect. While there have been improvements within community and within society itself, toxicity is still a problem. As shown above, many members have continued to make toxic comments but didn’t they do this in the past too? Time has changed and society itself has adapted to the change. The community may still be toxic but due to the restrictions put upon them, they aren’t showing that toxicity publicly. This would show that members are more considerate but their viewpoints haven’t changed.

We asked ex-Chaos leader, Orange, to give his own opinion on toxicity within the community and whether or not it’s risen. Here’s what he said:

I think the overall toxicity has decreased a bit, but it honestly depends on how you define toxicity. In my opinion, the doxing/ddossing/hacking stuff has dwindled compared to what it once was (sadly still happens however). On the other hand though, people may consider shit talking and such as toxicity which remains prevalent in the community today and will honestly continue to remain prevalent no matter what because at the end of the day, this community is ran by a bunch of young adults/teenagers who all have clashing ideals, so disagreements will naturally occur. However, some people are immature with how they handle disagreements and that’s how these arguments break out.

As much as we try to rid the community of toxicity, there will always be people here in the community out to cause trouble and that’s just something we have always dealt with and will continue to deal with moving forward.

All three of the people that we have interviewed have different opinions on the topic. As Orange said, it depends what you define ‘toxicity’ as. Some people could consider toxicity as a small dispute which doesn’t cause much damage. In life, people will perceive things in different ways and no-one can’t stop that. We also can’t accurately pinpoint if a rise in toxicity has occurred or not because of this.

Conclusion:

Many people will have different opinions on this topic and I am also one of those people. The community is a big one but all of the arguments above are valid in their own way. Clearly, there has been a decrease in toxicity, as we have seen with armies flocking to CPATG to celebrate Pride Month, but also; members of the community have restricted themselves in terms of what they say. They have tried to make the community better by placing these restrictions on themselves and others. On the other hand, CPA has become more toxic over time as there has been an increase in multi-logging, doxxing/ddossing threats and much more. Also, is on the rise as we saw with the Legends Cup battle but also in small/medium army battles.

I also agree that you can perceive toxicity differently, it may not have risen or decreased. Without thorough research into this, it’s impossible to know whether the community has become more toxic or not. Members can perceive it to be the same as it used to be. Society has changed massively, members have also changed as we have grown and learnt a lot. While there may be many toxic people in the community, we cannot deem the whole community toxic because of that.

I have an open-minded view on this subject but there are still armies that allow/embrace toxicity and this is not right.

With all of this in mind, what do YOU think? Do you think that the community is more toxic now or do you think it has decreased? Maybe you think it has stayed the same? Whatever your opinion is, let us know by commenting!

Coolguy

CP Army Media Reporter

6 Responses

  1. To be honest. Mostly kids under the age of 14 who don’t understand that racism isn’t funny. Games for example tried being funny and no one found it funny except him. I heard he is a 12 year old and he probably needs to have a talk with his parents about racism.

    Like

    • To be honest. Mostly kids under the age of 14 who don’t understand that racism isn’t funny. Games for example tried being funny and no one found it funny except him. I heard he is a 12 year old and he probably needs to have a talk with his parents about racism.

      Like

  2. Also during the first battle of the lc, the special guests rpf faced were also racist towards Jews, which is very disrespectful !

    Like

  3. Excellent post – brilliantly put together and some good points made.

    I’d say the current community is definitely less toxic than what was experienced particularly between 2013-16. Doxing/bullying/ddosing etc. is all much less common.

    Like

  4. Great Post Coolguy

    Like

  5. the community has became more toxic

    Like

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