Statement Regarding Brisc's Unremoval from EVE
Wow, what a couple weeks. Earlier today, CCP announced the conclusion of their reinvestigation of the initial accusations made against Brisc. You can read them here, but the short of it is that Brisc’s name has been cleared, and no NDA violations occurred. Unfortunately for everyone concerned, Brisc included, it appears that CCP failed to do the due diligence that they’ve previously done so well for the CSM. This has pretty negative connotations for the future, and also causes a whole lot of questions, so let’s launch right in.
First off, I want to state that I fully believe that Brisc is innocent here following these events. There’s a whole load of conspiracy theories that will arise as a result of this, or already have arisen in some cases, so it’s important to get ahead of those. As of right now, the only conclusion that can be drawn here is that Brisc was wrongfully accused.
Now, the biggest immediate question here is how did CCP mess up this bad, and how will it affect the future. The biggest point here is that it brings into question the whole process of bans. On the whole, CCP has been fairly good about their bans up till now, so this represents a pretty massive divergence from that trend. It’s going to make it a whole lot harder for them to take down CSM members that do end up leaking, even if they are firmly guilty, as they’ll constantly be second guessed. It also means that we’ll likely see a higher standard of public release of evidence, as how many people will take CCP on faith the next time, and I assume there will be a next time just because of the nature of the game, a CSM member is removed. This is going to make a whole lot more people a whole lot more willing to push their boundaries, and I hope CCP manages to regain that trust at some point.
The other major point that stands out to me is the phrasing on the CSM. I’ll quote the statement from their initial announcement first:
To be fully transparent, this misconduct was brought to us by the CSM themselves as an immediate threat to the integrity of the CSM as an institution. CCP’s stance on this is clear: regardless of the type of information shared, acts like this go against everything that the Council of Stellar Management stands for and will not be tolerated under any circumstances.
And in the most recent announcement, the relevant passage in bold:
We made a mistake here and we offer our formal apologies. First, to Brisc Rubal and the two other players involved, both for making the allegations and for the disturbance and stress caused by the way in which we handled this situation. Second, for not collaborating with due care with the members of CSM 13, who have acted responsibly throughout. Lastly, we owe our sincere apology to the EVE community for this error. We take full responsibility for any confusion and mistrust caused by our initial assessment of the situation.
Given that the initial tip seems to have come from the CSM, and also appears to have been completely wrong, I’m very curious as to why CCP is apologizing to the members of the CSM. The only explanation I can come up with here is that the CSM passed the info onto CCP as a due diligence action, and then CCP opted to act without thinking. However, this does not seem to match with the earlier statement fully, as it implies that the CSM believed it was ‘an immediate threat to the integrity of the CSM.’ Generally you don’t believe that unless you’re really sure, or making it up to get something done. I think there’s more to the story here, but I also highly doubt anything will come of it, given the loss of trust in CCP.
Also, I want to mention that I’m disappointed that Brisc is choosing not to continue on the CSM, but I fully understand why he would not want to continue. The CSM is an entirely volunteer organization that takes up an enormous amount of time, and having the company that runs it drag you through the mud is not conducive towards wanting to dedicate that time. This also seems to have had something of a chilling effect on potential future CSM candidates, with a few that I know of stepping down. This is always a negative, as I’d far rather have more candidates in the field than less in order to have the best rack of choices.
Finally, I’d just like to note that while they royally screwed up everything leading up to this point, CCP did at least handle the retraction fairly well, beyond the previously mentioned questions that remain. They were firm on the innocence of Brisc, and admitted their failure, which is not something you commonly see in this situation. They also went the extra step, per CCP Grendel, and contacted the various news outlets that had run stories on the initial ban and removal to tell them that Brisc was clear, with many already printing retractions. It at least made a terrible situation a bit better.