It's the question that everyone in EVE has been asking.
Several days ago, the EVE community was stunned the revelation that CCP deleted my bio. There was nothing offensive or out of the ordinary about my bio. I had not changed it recently; it was the same bio I'd had for several months. Since my character profile is among the more widely-viewed profiles in EVE (given my status as a rock star), a lot of people were confused. So I went straight to the source, and filed a petition in response to GM The Doctor's notification about the bio deletion.
GM Pyro took up the matter and read me in. It all started a month ago, when the New Order was euphorically celebrating its one-year anniversary. It was a simpler time. The New Order was on top of the world, indulging in fast bumps, fast ganks, and fast permit fees. It was a time when anything seemed possible.
As part of the celebration, I wrote a post about the secret origins of the New Order. In that post, I unlocked secrets that had remained hidden for an entire year--secrets, some said, that should have stayed buried. The post highlighted screenshots of the exchange that took place between myself and GM Banana on the eve of the creation of the New Order and its blessed Code. MinerBumping readers were awed and amazed. What they saw there reinforced the idea that the New Order was propelled by destiny.
Fast-forward to a few weeks later. Some anonymous individual filed a petition, notifying CCP that a MinerBumping post contained screenshots of GM communications. Actually, MinerBumping has a history of being read by GMs and CCP employees, and it's not unlikely that they were already aware of the post. But because it was now the subject of a petition, they couldn't turn a blind eye. They investigated the matter.
This wasn't the first time that CCP had been asked to investigate a MinerBumping post, and it wouldn't be the last. When a GM accesses MinerBumping directly from their petition-reading website (i.e. when someone links the site in a petition and the GM clicks on it), it sometimes shows up in MinerBumping's blogger traffic referral stats. However, this was the first time CCP acted on one of those petitions.
As anyone who reads EVE-O is probably aware, CCP is very persnickety when it comes to the publication of GMs' responses to petitions. On EVE-O, they'll delete the quotes. Sometimes this makes it a bit tricky to know exactly what the policy is on something, because you can't use past GM decisions as precedent. Last year, carebears spent months petitioning about bumping. The petitions were rejected, but no one could quote the rejections, so the carebears just kept on petitioning until the GMs came out publicly with an official answer. (The carebears continued petitioning after that, of course.)
Though you won't read GM communications on EVE-O, you can occasionally read them on third-party sites. CCP doesn't typically take action to censor anything outside of their own websites. For example, there's nothing to stop you from reading the famous exchange between Remedial (the founder of Goonfleet) and GM Sunshine (who was complaining about spam in local). If you were so inclined, you could even read copious private logs of CCP and CSM7, because one of the CSM7 members leaked them. Nevertheless, publishing GMs' responses to petitions is theoretically against the EULA, regardless of where they're published.
My decision to post screenshots of the pre-New Order exchange with GM Banana was pretty straightforward. The exchange was a year old, and was of historical interest to the New Order and MinerBumping community. There was nothing confidential revealed in the conversation, and GM Banana didn't say anything that reflected poorly upon CCP. (Arguably, the thoroughness of his answers reflected well on the effort he put into the job.) Nor was there any issue with his words being used as precedent, since the bumping issue had become public and the GM team made an official ruling on it.
But after reviewing the matter, the GMs decided that it was a violation of the EULA for me to publish those screenshots, and I was given a warning. Now, as anyone who spends any time with me or my Agents knows, I have the utmost respect for the EULA. I would never do anything to break the rules; I have too much honour. As Father of the New Order and Saviour of Highsec, whenever I interact with other EVE players, I make certain to treat them properly, and I don't do anything that would come even close to a "gray area". My Agents are the same. Aside from a handful of warnings that I've gotten over the years for things outside the scope of this topic, I never run afoul of CCP.
So I'm not saying that it was acceptable for me to violate the EULA. What I'm saying is, when the Saviour of Highsec does it, that means that it is not a violation.
GM The Doctor probably realized that it wouldn't do him much good to simply give me a warning for publishing the GM communications. It's not as though there's more than one "secret origin" of the New Order. So he took it a step further. He retaliated by deleting my beloved bio. According to GM Pyro, the reason that my bio was deleted is that it contained a link to MinerBumping. This may come as a surprise to my readers, since MinerBumping is linked all over the place. It's probably the most frequently-linked website in bios across EVE. GM Pyro told me that once I deleted the screenshots of the GM communications, I would be cleared to link MinerBumping again.
At this point, I filed another response, officially requesting permission to publish the GM communications, based on the same reasoning I described earlier. This request became the subject of intense debate at the highest levels. Unfortunately, GM Pyro had to inform me that after consultation with multiple senior GMs, the request was denied.
This put everyone's favorite blog into a precarious position. Though only one post out of several hundred contained an alleged EULA violation, the whole website was suspect. The fact that I had a link to MinerBumping in my bio got the entire bio deleted, not just the link. If I deleted the screenshots, all would be well. If I didn't, MinerBumping would become a rogue website, and I could be permabanned for linking it again.
Though I'm not convinced that I actually broke the rules, and though I am convinced that CCP made the wrong decision, I decided to restore MinerBumping's squeaky-clean EULA status by removing the screenshots in question. Since this issue arose only after the "secret origins" post had been up for a couple weeks, most everyone who was going to read the post has already read it anyway. For those who didn't read the post, you have even more reason to envy those who have been reading MinerBumping longer than you.
Am I thrilled by this development? Of course not. Each MinerBumping post is a precious child, not unlike a highsec miner, and I hate to delete anything. I intend to reopen this matter again, once tempers have cooled a little, and am confident that CCP will eventually see reason. At the end of the day, the decision I made was based upon my principles for founding the New Order. I am not driven by pride, or ego, or the desire for fame or fortune. The New Order exists to help people. It's my belief that by restoring MinerBumping's status, I will be able to reach and help more highsec miners than I would if I were placed under additional restrictions or permabanned.
Then there's the matter of the anonymous individual who filed the petition in the first place. Years ago, CCP t20 was caught spawning tech II BPOs and giving them to members of the Band of Brothers alliance in exchange for promoting his alt to command of BoB's capital fleet. CCP t20's alt was known by BoB leadership to be a member of CCP, because he registered for the BoB forums with his CCP e-mail. They were completely aware of the cheating. Nearly all of them kept this secret, but one anonymous whistle-blower reported him. CCP t20 wasn't punished (then), but his alt was removed from BoB. CCP t20 went to EVE-O and complained about this and made his own version of an old World War II-era "somebody talked!" poster. CCP t20 then used the resources at his disposal to attempt to identify the whistle-blower so that he could retaliate, but he failed.
I'm not going to do that today. I don't engage in witch-hunts or perpetrate petty acts of vengeance. Instead, I would like to ask that the petitioner come forward of his or her own free will and apologize, and pay me the 30 million isk Red Pen fee that he or she now owes. I don't want anyone to have to live with the guilt that they no doubt feel.
Finally, my bio. It was destroyed in a terrible, senseless attack. People of highsec, I share your grief. But this isn't the old highsec. We belong to the New Order. When we are unjustly persecuted, we don't give up. We overcome. We prevail. We rebuild. In due time, my bio will be rebuilt, bigger and more beautiful than ever before, so that future generations will be able to look at it and say, "Yes. He made a brand new bio after they deleted the old one."