I joined VH in 2003. I was young. I was stupid. I had a lot of growing up to do. I made mistakes. I corrected them. I fell in love with the people, and I made friends that I continue to love to this day. Lifetime kinds of friends. I wish that on every VHer.
Some of those friends were involved in various dramas throughout the years, but I somehow managed to never get involved, never hear about it, or hear about it years after the fact (in which the Surprised Pikachu meme would have been utilized extensively). I never had drama of my own and the idea of VH drama in and of itself was a totally foreign concept to me. My motto, in fact, used to be, “Drama free since 2003.”
I never had trouble with moderators. I never saw them as an enemy, even after that time I was reported for being too descriptive in a thread and asked to edit. I never decided that if I wasn’t picked for a role I applied for that they were out to get me for being this or that or whatever. I’ve been on the other side for longer than I haven’t, and while my experience is not everyone else’s, it matters too.
Before my application in 2016, I never had an inclination to become a moderator on the site. I didn’t want the responsibility or the power or anything that came along with becoming one of The Mods, because while I had never had a hard time with them myself, I knew they had somehow gotten this bad reputation. But one day I saw an opportunity to help cultivate a brilliant user experience on VH and I took it because VH is my home and I want to see it continue to succeed and be an awesome place. I don’t regret it at all, but it does come with a lot of drawbacks.
Since becoming a moderator, I’ve seen more drama than in my entire 16 years of being part of this community. I’ve been involved in some for telling people “no,” for making mistakes, etc. I’ve seen loads of things go down and I’ve been a part of helping and healing and everything in between.
Becoming a moderator now is like putting a sign on your back that says, “Kick me.” You live and breathe this site and there are always those who don’t, and won’t ever, see your worth or your good intentions. That’s okay. That’s on them. But, you know, I’ve spent a long time being pretty quiet. 16 years’ worth. And I figure since everyone else has had their say, I will too.
I have spent the past week (or two, now, I don’t even know), checking on everyone I know to make sure they’re okay throughout all of this while not really thinking about my own feelings. I’ve watched friends of mine insert themselves into this current drama and I’ve checked on them too, I’ve watched people I respected and talked to rather frequently take shots at me and my friends and I’ve still made an effort to boost morale and be there for everyone who needs it. I’ve been comforting and talking to the other mods (who are actual people, you know) who have become my friends too, while we talk about how to do better for all of you. Regardless of your feelings, I think it says a lot that none of us have run from this. I respect and love these people, wholeheartedly.
The anonymity of a throwaway Reddit account maybe grants you a disguise against other VHers, but the funny thing is, when you’re part of a writing community, it becomes really easy to spot who is who even under a different name – and you know this if you’ve ever really wanted to figure out someone’s alter. So while it’s great you have a place to air your grievances and express yourself and I would never hold your opinions against you despite how personal you have become against me and other VHers (and despite how much you believe I will), it’s actually laughable that some of you are afraid of “retaliation” because if any of us really were playing a game of revenge, you would know it by now.
I will put it to you bluntly: There are a lot of loud people right now who are ruining VH for everyone else. I’m sincerely sorry to those of you who have been blindsided by all of this. We know who you are, and we appreciate and love you.
I’ve gotten messages from people who haven’t been on the site for years fishing for details by casually dropping VH into conversation. We have people returning to VH now specifically for the drama and with the intent to cause more. We watch them silently from the sidelines while they slither into various chats, knowing they’re going to leave once the VH tea gets cold.
If you are so incensed by this site and how it works, you are free to go. No one is keeping you here, and we won’t be begging you to stay.
Fun fact: It sometimes takes about 3 or 4 of us to draft one single PM to a person because we don’t ever want to hurt or offend anyone or cause upset and we want to be fair. Sometimes we still do hurt them, and we hear about their rant on how The Mods hate them. Sometimes it feels like we can never win, and most of the time I think that’s true.
We care about our community more than you will ever know. The current team of moderators are people you interact with each and every day. We are online each and every day with you, beside you, and for you. Today when we were online, united and being there for Weasley, it should have been a wonderful and humbling experience, but I’m going to keep it 100: it was more like standing in the center of a wasps’ nest and wondering who would be first to sting. People who had caused so much hurt this week, who we’d seen spitting venom in various servers and places, who we know hold these vendettas against us for things we haven’t done, smiled to our faces, chatted like they’d done nothing wrong, sent hearts and sad faces in the wake of Weasley’s departure. It kind of made me sick.
If you take this personally, it’s probably because you’re a part of the problem. The good souls know who they are. I care about each of you, but I don’t have to set myself on fire to keep you warm.
A lot of people wonder why we remain anonymous. To that I say: would you unmask yourself among a mob of people wielding pitchforks and torches?
I just want to do good work. I want to help VH be the community that it can be. I want to, shocking I know, WRITE. I want our members, new and old, to shine and I want the ones who hate us SO MUCH to find another hobby and another site because I’m not allowed to have feelings either way and I'm still going to be working my EGGBUTT off for you. And that’s the tea.
The other mods don’t know that I’m writing this and will probably be pretty disappointed that I’ve cracked. Sorry, I’m just a Bad Egg.