Would-Be SCP Administrator Resigns
Updated: Dec 27, 2021
News & Opinion
by Lack of Lepers
SCP Wiki's ProcyonLotor steps down from active duty and into reserve status.
Long-time and politically embattled SCP staff member ProcyonLotor has announced via the O5 Command boards that he has vacated his duties and positions. The role of Licensing Team Captain has been succeeded by user LilyFlower, and of Community Outreach Captain by WhiteGuard. The thread, created December 6th, states:
"In what will likely surprise no one who has been paying attention, I will be moving myself to reserve... I'm proud of what we've helped build here together, and it's been an honor and a goddamn privilege."
Procyon was recently the subject of an extensive on-site drama when his nomination from moderator to administrator was protested and halted by sweeping community outrage. Site members and vocal community thought-leaders amplified the perceived inappropriateness of his promotion, with one going so far as to threaten leaving the community if Procyon was successfully promoted. An administrator represented the voice in the community and voted "no" for Procyon's promotion in the O5 Command thread, saying:
Procy is a capable and knowledgable leader who serves a critical role on site staff. He is hardworking and has expertise in invaluable areas, such as licensing or chat moderation.
However, over the last several months, we have attempted to heal the rift that has formed between our community and site staff. While we have made some progress, there remain several issues which have not been substantively addressed. Many in the community have expressed significant concerns about Procy's past behavior and conduct on staff. I agree with the assessment of my colleagues that his attitude has improved significantly in recent months. This said, given the high degree of contention that has accompanied the proposal to promote him to administrator, and the extent to which distrust in this regard would undo the progress we have made, I cannot support his promotion at this time.(source)
With this dissent, the remaining two administrators who were yet to vote never did. ProcyonLotor's promotion thread sank slowly on the Most Active Forum Threads like a torpedoed ship, in plain sight and in an awkward, uncertain silence. This was historic in that it was the only time in the 13+ year history of the SCP Wiki that the promotion of an administrator, usually a foregone conclusion by the time of the nomination, failed. The close call resulted in a complete overhaul of the SCP Wiki promotion process, in part to discourage the ease with which unpopular members might be hastily promoted against the community's wishes... with Procyon mentioned numerous times by name.
It would be unfair though to not recognize ProcyonLotor's contributions to the SCP Wiki over the many years he was active, the sort of good work and side that kept him on as staff and merited him a nomination, as well as endorsement and praise from fellow admins DrEverettMann, Dexanote, and DrBleep.
Procyon was not much of a confic author. In the decade he has been a member of the site, he has written one tale, from 2013 (though there may have been more attempts that did not survive). He has however been very participatory, and is currently in the top 200 for total votes given on the SCP Wiki (>1500).
Most of his effort and notoriety has come in the form of behind the scenes work, some of which was highly menial. For example, he was nearly-omnipresent in site17 (the official staff help chat channel) for several years, maddeningly answering the same questions over and over to help newbies. Procyon was involved in architecting numerous on-site contests, including the 4000, 5000, and 6000 contests, and many more. Perhaps most thanklessly, Procyon has been an asset to the SCP Wiki's Licensing Team, which is responsible for not only enforcing the Creative Commons By-Attribution, Share-Alike 3.0 license that applies to all site content (and all third-party merchandise, books, films, etc of the SCP Wiki universe), but understanding the intricacies of that license. This can be a very difficult and complex topic to navigate, and Procyon has a wit sharp enough to make very clear sight pictures when it comes to legal jargon, and where the letter of the law meets real-world application.
ProcyonLotor's entry in The Confic Wiki pays homage to this:
"Perhaps Procyon’s most notable work for staff has come in regards to licensing issues. With work experience in paralegal affairs, Procyon proved to be a valuable member to the team, and was eventually made co-captain with Vincent Redgrave by 2015. His leadership in the 2017 -RU Licensing Crisis was instrumental in the peaceful resolution of the conflict, and -EN’s eventual, celebrated victory. In chat logs from the time, Procyon’s performance in this event was what made Redgrave eventually nominate him as sole Captain of the licensing team, a position he held until December 2021."
It is not an exaggeration to say that Procyon's posture and persistence in the 2017 -RU Licensing Crisis -- throughout the duration, but mostly at its most heated -- was like that of a general. It was his staunch insistence and command that kept the -EN licensing team united in their political strategy, and ultimately gave them the win. He was tactically pivotal and exhibited the sort of resolve -- whether right or wrong -- that a leader has to have.
However, Procyon's accomplishments are and always were mitigated by his on-site attitude, particularly his treatment of others, which has the general perception of being rude, elitist, and ruthless. Procyon has a history of disciplinary citations, up to and including 2021. He has a more hushed history of questionable behavior as an enforcement agent in the site chat. Several ex-users have accused Procyon of going to disturbing lengths to discover their legal names, locations, email addresses, home phone numbers, attended schools and future schools, to exact retribution on those who he feels deserve such invasion and IRL harassment. (A stance that has been somewhat perpetuated by the current SkipIRC owner.) A drop of public chat logs from site17 and site67 show Procyon bragging to his peers about these incidents as close as 2018. Yet, Procyon has never been cited or disciplined for these actions, despite it being common knowledge among staff, admins (some of whom ordered and participated in the doxing), and the captains of teams like disciplinary and anti-harassment. It is notable that such an action would be, and has reliably been, a permaban for other users.
As can be summarized by the reader, Procyon's overlooked attitude, hypocrisy, and demeaning posture was the very sort of blatant and asymmetric favoritism that roused the anger of the general SCP userbase in the 2021 Town Halls. Here, the political privilege of staff members and unequal treatment of users was addressed comprehensively. It was not ideal then that ProcyonLotor was nominated as an administrator only months after these Town Halls by the very ones who were evidently holding themselves accountable to the promises and rehabilitation efforts stated in the Town Halls (admins). The public eruption of dissatisfaction was as much a rebuke of Procyon as a reaction to the message that apparently nothing was learned where and when it mattered most.
Procyon has been somewhat of an elephant in the room since (... if you'll excuse the dizziness of adding another animal to his zoonotically kaleidoscopic persona; he goes by the scientific names for a raccoon, a hyena, and a crow). His comment history at and around the time of his nomination to administrator shows a stylistic change in his tone; very cautious and reserved, as opposed to his usual "capacity and willingness to speak his mind without any apprehension".
After his administrator promotion thread sank, a new one was made with his nomination slot filled by other candidates. In that thread, SCP administrator DrBleep writes:
ProcyonLotor was originally intended to be nominated and voted on alongside Conwell, Stormbreath, and ManyMeats; however, Procyonlotor approached the administration team of his own volition and requested the withdrawal of his candidacy, and suggested that he not be put up again for, at minimum, a period of six months time. As a result, Procyonlotor's admin candidacy has been withdrawn.(source)
Surely for some, this did not help, and was not a fair statement in light of the thorough reprimand given by the users, as it implied that the only reason the administration didn't go forward with a nomination and vote for ProcyonLotor immediately and a second time was not the heard objection of the users, but Procyon's own decision. Neither the admins' gaffe nor the users' efforts were here mentioned; a tell-tale sign that it was something worth political evasion.
Procyon likewise addressed what damage may have been done to his political career and reputation in his "reserve-ment" post:
The gushier stuff:
To head off all drama and rumor at the pass, I'm not going reserve for [insert contemporary drama of choice], I'm going reserve because (as any staffer who has had the misfortune of needing my attention or assistance since mid-August can attest) I have been almost completely absent for months due to my new employment. Which… really isn't something someone with two captaincies and a seemingly endless procession of other roles can be. While I've been allowing my teams significant autonomy, it barely needs to be said that the site will be healthier with an active and engaged captain at the head for both teams.
And, honestly? I'm feeling a shitton better without all the stress.
I don't even know what drama it is, or if there's even drama! It is an amazing feeling.
The users may have instinctually chosen well when they vetoed Procyon's promotion to administrator, even in the best of relations; as he notes here, new employment around the time of his attempted promotion is what has been keeping him from the website and his duties. If he was unable to fulfill his current roles, maybe it was best he didn't get more and a more important one.
The reserve staff that Procyon is entering into should not be confused with retired staff. According to the SCP Wiki Meet the Staff page, reserve are those who "...have taken on a reduced role in terms of overall staff activity, have been deemed inactive, due to prolonged absence or real-life events that keep them from participating in the site any longer; or have retired, either from inactivity or by choice." (ProcyonLotor's name has not been added to the reserve list by staff at the time of writing.) While Procyon's active duty roles have been assumed by others as a result of this announcement, this does not mean that he will be absent from the site. Other reserve staff include most past administrators, such as thedeadlymoose, DrClef, Sorts, and even DrMagnus (this last one even as of 12/12/2021), and notable old-guard leaders, such as Fritzwillie/The Administrator, Kain Pathos Crow, and DrGears. Some more recent reserve staff remain active and participatory on the Wiki include A Random Day, Doctor Cimmerian, and S D Locke.
Reserve staff still support the Wiki and the staff structure, through advice and counsel. User thedeadlymoose (Moose) for example, once an active administrator, is featured regularly in the October 2021 Staff Chat Recaps, there engaged in gallant debate on the site, the staff, and the role of the latter in the former. Moose is quoted in paraphrase by the Recap Team as saying that she is someone "... whose role is to advise admins overall" (source). Therefore it is likely that ProcyonLotor will still be visible on the site and in the community, and will likely continue to assist, particularly with licensing questions.
He may even return with another push to become an administrator, though it would be at least 1 year, thanks to the results of a staff vote.
Procyon's forecast on the matter:
"I'll still be around in one or two staff servers (including the main) although I'll be leaving most. I'll always be happy to help out (just ping me, or find one of the many people who know how to get in touch with me otherwise) and hope to return to full activity at some indefinite (but distant!) future point."
Moose, who has somewhat of an adversarial history with Procyon, paid him tribute in his announcement thread:
"Actually, Procy uniquely did the kindest thing for me & staff that I can possibly imagine — he didn't just disappear, he also did his best within recent months to renounce his prior approaches that have caused issues amongst staff, and demonstrated to others real and significant efforts to change Adcap & Staff culture.... I'm proud to know you, and I'm eager to work with you as a fellow Reserve Staff member on coming reform projects, to create the kinder, more drama-free, and less fucking scary staff culture that you have come to advocate for, slowly and then quickly, over the last year. <3" (source)
Emphasis is Moose's.
Read more about ProcyonLotor in his entry on the Confic Wiki here.
© Lack of Lepers
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