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  • Writer's pictureConfic Magazine

A History of Modern SCP Staff Chat Leaks

Updated: Dec 27, 2021

Culture & Community

by Lack of Lepers


Whistleblowers! Leaks! Treachery! Betrayal! Intrigue! Whodunnit, damnit?!

A new Twitter handle “SCP Staff Leaks” allows for anonymous tips and reporting of leaked Staff chat logs; here’s the clever logo of the new account. The logo is CC BY-SA 3.0.

Part I: Preface

Chat leaks from private spaces in the SCP Staff have been detrimental over the past year and a half. They are responsible for the general userbase’s irritation reaching all-time highs, that requiring the Town Halls — a synchronized rake-stepping that occurred when Staff was eventually backed into the corner. The result was a slew of pleading apologies from Staff, and an overhaul in accountability with improved but ultimately underwhelming attempts at transparency.

The leaks of most consequence have been those that offer glimpses inside site67 — the official SCP Staff chat. The chat has long been given the jolly sobriquet “super secret”; that done initially as a bit of fun, now an awkward, lingering and above all appropriate way to describe the attitude carried by those within it.

Slowly over time — first in the hands of ignored community pariahs, some of whom were so by virtue of their curiosity and deviation from SCP’s groupthink — realizations from these leaked staff chats made their way into the mainstream and to the more visible and more credible words of individuals within the community. Now being flanked on all sides, and with no apparent answer for an abject failure to follow through with their pleading promises, the SCP Staff are the subject of an ever expanding field of microscopy, wherein the budding replication of a dead-set, spurious, and septically hypocritical bacterial colony is backlit into a more forced transparency.

Leaks themselves are a symptom of a cracking, failing structure. The larger the disconnect — and this one is very large — the worse the leak. There is only so much you can shove into and attempt to flush down the toilet before it gets clogged and strains the pipes. With a new anonymous Twitter account, a sponge has been lovingly placed around these leaks. And because these days, the ranks of SCP Staff are filled with divided loyalties, and are as ruthless and infighting as animals, we might see a reliable trickle from this sponge. If, that is, Staff’s new weapons of suppression don’t Alderaan it off the face of the internet first…

Part II: Off-Site

The first major round of chat leaks in modern SCP history came through a little-known, less-visited, and spooky corner of the space; the SCP Foundation thread on KiwiFarms (KF). For years, critics here mocked and ridiculed the SCP, splitting their shots near-evenly between bullseye observations due to being unbiased, and outrageously uninformed takes due to being so far removed. Starting in 2019 though, once-participants and incognito members of the SCP Wiki became more apparent and vocal on the forums (now reflected affectionately in the thread’s title). Users like vdnb6 demonstrated a relative sophistication and awareness — in retrospect, the unmistakable familiarity of a participating member of the community, and possibly one from the annals of Staff itself — that brought an out-of-place legitimacy to the posts and information.

Due to the general strategy of Staff globbing sanitizer onto criticisms or potentially bad PR within their controlled spaces (and now without) — places like the site’s forums, the site chat, and the “unofficial” surrounding Discord servers — , dissidents and naysayers of the SCP community were driven towards and some funneled directly into the KF thread by a process of exclusion. Those who knew of these concerns resorted to KF in order to speak their minds without fear of disciplinary action or cross-platform retaliation (though dual citizens who made themselves known were commonly banned simply for being there, an unforgivable betrayal of a strange loyalty).

KF isn’t a pretty place by any means, but where else could a whistleblower go? It is a dirty place for dirty work, where dirty secrets go to die and be born as believable. A tactlessness in SCP Staff made it apparent that they too hawked the thread in an attempt to front-run potential drama; that is to say, these truths being brought out from under their rug. So, hey; who can be blamed when the place had a lot of Staff eyes on it? If you build it, they will come. Might as well play the game.

Competent posts and information coming out of the KF thread became more and more informed by individuals who were closer and closer to the Staff, and so closer and closer to carefully guarded secrets. The onslaught of routine chat logs, released with plenty of commentary, started around quarter two of 2020. After the dominoes were pushed by a staffer who had experienced the center of the underground grooming networks within both the community and staff structure first hand, private messages revealing the incompetence of the site’s Anti-Harassment team in scandalous, internal investigations, along with snippets of chat logs from the NSFW SCP chat #site12, were all leaked. These revealed a horde of questionable behavior; interactions between staff members (up to and including Admins) with their impressionable userbase, some awry cases involving known sex pests covered up for years. Collected chat logs from #site17 and #site19 also proved interesting and entertaining despite these being mundane and user-accessible chats.

Months later, the ante was upped when an ex-Admin and decade-tenured author defected, unleashing over a decade of private DMs and chat logs to a small batch of dedicated, amateur-archaeologist participants on that thread. These logs included Staff save-havens such as site67, site00 (chat op channel), and rogetbox. The logs total at 83,122 lines of private messages and 5,908,714 lines of chat.

The next months saw numerous payloads dropped on the thread, each showing more clearly than the last the Staff’s insularity, incompetence, hypocrisy, and above all, dishonesty. The starkest reality, even when these offenses were delivered facetiously, was that regular users didn't get such an excuse to escape their bans. There were revelations:

  • The use of slurs and offensive jokes that would have the everyuser permabanned:

  • Staff saying “Kill yourself” in numerous contexts, and also making fun of a possible or at least claimed suicide attempt by a user, despite them universally decrying a -J article for joking about “kys” and suicide (and for banning people for typing “kys”):

  • the later-apologized-for attitude of “ban them all, ask questions later, let God sort them out” during the 2018 June Logo Fiasco was shared and ordered by numerous high-up individuals on staff:

June 18 2018 staffchat
Download PDF • 154KB

  • their years-long awareness and close tab-keeping of the Kiwifarms thread:

Download PDF • 110KB

  • Staff’s severe insulting of and vitriol over their users:

staff talking shit about users in site67
Download PDF • 130KB

  • the “anti-SCP manifesto” continually inspires them to increase their censorship:

Download PDF • 133KB

  • the Staff-OK’d creation of an inverted Nazi-symbol chat room that participants were privy to the sensitive nature and potential controversy of while chatting in it

ARD seems like a real champion for religious groups.

  • a hyper-partisanship of Staff in their explicit consideration of like-minded political opinions when considering possible promotions, but also as an imposition on their general userbase

Download PDF • 144KB

  • utilizing "official" channels of punishment to avenge personal insults to Staff members

... as well as a host of sexual inappropriateness bordering on the illegal:

  • Staff asking an underage user (16) to please share their ecchi art that was going around the social media of the community, and encouraging more of that art:

  • the IRL social coordination of said member (then 17) with a Staff member (22, both of age in Australia):

  • Staff refusing to ban popular authors for behavior others are banned for, this done strictly due to their varying degrees of popularity and the resulting PR strain:

  • And also etc insight into the Staff’s mindset regarding their (let’s keep this in perspective: very small) power and authority:

The need for the last line to be spoken as a sort of wisdom is telling, and it is advice that Staff do not always follow.

These Staff chat logs are to this day scattered throughout the KF thread posts and laid bare for anyone willing to witness them. These are also all archived numerous times over on services like the Wayback Machine and The warehouse of decade-tall chat logs and PMs wait in a cold storage until current events (e.g. SCP-DISC-J) again make their secrets relevant.

To sum it up in too much of an oversimplification, the chat logs showed without a doubt that Staff applied one set of domineering rules and standards of behavior publicly and another privately, and relished in the power, a lack of transparency, and unaccountability cocooning it all. (Having read more leaked staff chat logs than anyone should, I can tell you that the avarice, hate, ugliness, harassment, maliciousness, vehemence, bigotry, tyranny, and sordid characters in the Staff Chats are as outrageous and on par with anything they have banned common users for, in some cases out-doing them.) There are two entirely different triggers on the behavioral, political, and disciplinary mechanics here; the trigger on the turret aimed at Staff itself is rusted stuck; the one aimed at the public is a hair-trigger on full-auto.

Similar to the tilted reputation SCP perpetuates for their creative writing competition — places like RPC Authority — SCP Staff aggressively smeared the SCP KiwiFarms thread’s informational value, and the participants therein as heretics; these assertions based more on KF’s reputation at large rather than the small and sometimes exclusively-attended corner of it that tirelessly covered SCP when no one else would… or really was allowed to.

Though a mischaracterization, this vilification tactic proved mostly successful, and the vast majority of the SCP community was unaware of the information in the thread, to the great relief of Staff. However, there were certain scandals that were too significant to suppress. That summer, the pressure from the worst of these revelations reached the marble tower of SCP Staff, causing key figures in the site’s hidden sexual edifice to crumble in dread and anticipation of marching torches & held pitchforks in the tower’s direction. But the most popular and senior of these figures was done in the controlled demolition of a voluntary step-down; a sham, a lie, a political charade, and one that Staff encouraged this individual to take as much for their own sake as for his. (To this day, Staff have not herded the self-honesty to admit this failure; not in that individual nor in themselves. They are nearly the only ones who remain fooled by now.)

At least this all was still outside their community; in the dark spaces regarded as the land outside the city, reserved for the nomadic lepers. However, the woes from chat leaks became worse and more far-reaching, as a nest of secrets always tends to. The next bombs, though relatively lighter in their explosive capacity, were dropped closer to the community itself. This time, the leaks would be at the disposal of someone who the community would have no choice but to hear shouting.

Part III: Site Staff

It took more than half a year, but chat leaks became more of an intra-community affair to the SCP Wiki in the wake of what scandals broke the surface of Staff’s propagandistic, informational quarantine. An event can serve as a landmark: the Cerastes scandal (also here and here), where among other accusations (found to be entirely personal, fueled by pettiness, and poorly fabricated... the ripples of which continue to this day), an unknown and non-credentialed user was apparently present in a Staff chat for some amount of time. The reaction of Staff, who had so far attempted to downplay the potential for scandal in their private spaces as eager conspiracy theorizing, inadvertently revealed how sensitive the Staff truly felt their chat material was to uninvited, unregistered eyes:

Note: An admittedly benign staff chat security breach  —  that is, even the potential for a new information leak  —  is here treated as more egregious than Cerastes' supposed plagiarism.

There are some shockingly correct takes out there.

In an unfortunate reflexivity that would come to define the Staff’s collective composure time and time again, the reaction here was worse than the problem, the ensuing informational breach more self-made than exogenous, and the telling message more surely delivered by their frenetic and unaware signaling. The backlash from this event and others around the time (the banning of Etoisle) helped boil user frustration as well as this sort of Staff panic, spilling over like a foam pushed upwards.

This led Staff to the reactionary, rushed, and disastrous Town Halls; an emergency PR maneuver they had initially posited a year prior in the midst of the site’s greatest sex scandal (uncovered by leaks from KF no less), but that they had let fall by the wayside, as it seemed they would get through the scandal relatively unscathed after spewing promises and policy changes (some of which were never followed through on). After these Town Halls, over 15 policy changes (and counting) were enacted as a result in an attempt to mollify the users. The heat was so high, and the efforts of Staff during the Town Halls so unskilled, it took 3 months for them to reply to the hardest-hitting of the criticisms:

The note at the end ruins any genuine apology; it’s the Staff member saying “See? The person who made the criticisms is OK with this reply, so you must be too and we can all go home now.”

There’s the “User Stamp of Approval Forgives Us” line at the end again.

To give credit where it is due, the Staff Chat Recaps have been released as promised. The two so far have been very interesting and informative. It would seem that the Staff had turned over a new leaf, but looks can be deceiving. This was a superficial and artificial change, one that was to last only as long as the heat did.

As if a self-fulfilling prophecy of Staff’s paranoia and a pataphysical fate haunting them in the form of Cerastes’ ghost, more leaks of inner Staff spaces soon came, casting the efficacy and lessons of the Town Halls — if indeed there were any to speak of—into severe doubt. Leaks next accompanied the failed promotion of a disastrously unpopular Staffer to Administrator:

...and again regarding ongoing Rule Zero violations in Staff chat spaces that were still not being addressed without the eye of an external pressure:

This became febrile when a particular user, a milquetoast politician and prosaic orator who was once staff but kicked off for incompetence, self-assumed the mantle of Staff provocateur and engaged in a string of leaks and intimidating rhetoric. The effect of this was exponential; this individual has arguably the largest audience and loudest microphone in the space.

Chat logs shared by this individual repeated mild observations & revelations made clear by the exhaustive KF logs. However, the mushroom cloud couldn’t be upstaged by smoke & mirrors this time. A false narrative about an out-group’s lack of credibility wasn’t going to work anymore.

That politician speak... 🤢 [source]

In response to these, Staff engaged their usual enmity for the democritized information, as if the incumbent clergy who count on an illiterate congregation to abuse their advantage:


Now enter the meaningful contributions of SCP Staff Leaks Twitter. On its first day active, this new Leaks Twitter account amassed nearly 100 subscribers, and sits at around an impressive 150 at the time of writing. A set of three leaks was released on the day of its creation.

(Dr.Cimmerian was once banned for upvote war-dialing; he solicited upvotes for a contest entry from 650 site users. While disgraceful and its own commentary on the disease of clout-chasing currently still raging bacteremic at SCP, one has to be impressed with the hand-crafted care and time this must have taken. Anyway, he was banned from participating in contests forever, right or wrong.)

What Leaks #1 and #2 show is that the SCP Staff have not, and likely are not, capable of changing their ways. Old habits seem to die hard. How else could it be when the people making the promises to change give themselves the task of policing their own actions, essentially on the honor system (or a lack of it)? Their act brings to mind a bobblehead, shaking in all directions when some pokes them, to tone down back to a blank smile.

Because of the Twitter leaks, we know the details of this Rule Zero infraction when we wouldn’t have otherwise. We also know that such violations on staff’s part don’t mean anything still, because — as we can see — no one is reprimanded, not given an official warning, as are specified in the purely political bones thrown to their outraged citizenry. Instead, a non-Staff user who expressed valid criticism and irritation on the on-site discussion got written up for comparatively less venomous, but much more honest and productive speech.

But while these leaks are welcome and informative, they were played amateurishly by the Leak Twitter team, who fired their weaponry too eagerly, too drunken with the potential of power, and the temptation of warmongering. This is because this discussion on Cimmerian may not have made its way to the 2021 September Staff Chat Recaps without these leaks, which were released 9 days after. We see what the recap team does with the coverage:

Because the leak came out prior to this Recap, there is no way to know of this level of transparency would have made it to the public reports on their own honesty. Would they have mentioned it? If they did, would we even get as much as is here? It’s a given that the team was aware of the Staff Chat Leak tweets and understood that the cat was in some ways already out of the bag (… maybe it was a half-cat). We can see that they don’t want to express the specifics of the Rule Zero violation, which is arguably the only important part; not the knowledge that Staffers still have as much indemnity as they always have; something perfectly available to critical thought and naked intuition. The Rule Zero violation here is painted as something not worth knowing the pivotal details of, and worth passing over with respect to any disciplinary action.

The better strategy on the part of the Twitter account would have been to hold the leak until Staff reported on the event, so that any lie by omission could be caught red-handed, and the floor show of integrity by the Staff and whole effort of the Recap in the process shown to be a deep charade. This was a fumbled play and missed opportunity on the Twitter’s part. They should never interrupt their enemy while they are in the middle of making a mistake.

But thankfully there is still more value and telling information in the first round of leaks than that.

Part IV: Chat Staff

You may be surprised to learn that the body of SCP Staff is partially cleaved into two, the duties and privileges of which do not always overlap; these are Site Staff and Chat Staff. To demonstrate, the Chat Staff aren’t currently mentioned on the SCP Wiki’s Meet the Staff page; not even the owner and high-ranking ones. A listing of this second Staff is tucked away in a quaternary tab on the Chat Guide.

We’ve seen what the leaks say about the Site Staff; what if anything do the leaks say about the Chat Staff?

Let’s reintroduce the idea of SkipIRC, written about elsewhere on this magazine. At its most basic, it is the chat platform that Staff use as an official part of the SCP Wiki (although curiously, and a discussion for another time, no longer used for Disc discussions). At its most heinous, it is the tool of privacy violation that Staff have that can extract sensitive, potentially identifying data from its users without their knowledge or consent. Certainly not with their express permission.