Third SBC Renaissance

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The Third SBC Renaissance was a landmark series of major events in SBC history that occurred between June 29th and July 1st, 2018, with related developments continuing later into the year.

The Third Renaissance was centered around the removal and banning of longtime SBC staff member Mr. Dr. Professor Patrick, and was spurred on by increased focus on the details of a past romantic relationship between him and Kylie. Conflicts between MDPP and the rest of the community began in the early hours of June 29th, and reached their climax with MDPP taking the site down for over six hours on July 1st. Afterwards, JCM assumed ownership of SBC and its major technical responsibilities.

Widely viewed as being SBC's darkest hour, due to its real-life consequences (with some members even comparing it to the "Me Too" movement), the Third Renaissance was also a watershed moment for the community. It caused the strengthening of personal bonds across the site, as a number of inactive users returned to the forums in order to show Kylie their support.

History

Background (June 25-29)

The lead-up to the Third Renaissance began on June 25, 2018, when Kylie shared a document she wrote about two different relationships she had with then-admin MDPP. This relationship, involving a large age gap between MDPP and the then-minor Kylie, had already been known to the members of SBC, but had become the center of much discussion in the weeks leading up to the Third Renaissance, due in part to Metal Snake using events surrounding their breakup as a point to criticize the SBC staff. Kylie initially shared the document to members Halibut and Big Meaty Claws, who helped her spread it across the community's members. The spread of the statement was largely through word of mouth, and for several days, no public statement was made on the subject.

A copy of the document can be read here.

Outbreak and MDPP's resignation (June 29-July 1)

MDPP's June 29th threat to Kylie, seen on Discord.

The Third Renaissance began in earnest in the early hours of June 29th, 2018, when MDPP issued a violent, public threat to Kylie on the SBC Discord (pictured to the left). While this outburst was met with an intense initial backlash, it was mostly overlooked throughout much of the following day, having occurred in the very early hours of the morning. Later in the afternoon, however, HawkbitAlpha again pressed MDPP about his threat, leading members who were not present during the early morning argument to heavily pressure MDPP. As a result, he issued a brief resignation message on Discord. At the same time, details of Kylie and MDPP's relationship had begun to spread faster, leading to MDPP increasingly losing support throughout the community.

The next morning, on June 30th, MDPP wrote a longer resignation message in the form of a thread on SBC. This topic quickly became the center of much controversy, as MDPP's standing within the community had been all but destroyed, and he attempted what many felt to be damage control by giving shoutouts to numerous members. Much of SBC's membership reported wishing that they would rather have seen him leave silently than make a topic about the events, with Aya writing that "[he] should have just left and said nothing because that's the best thing [he] could have done."

An example of the post redactions in the "Resignation" thread.

Subsequent to the controversy regarding the topic, MDPP returned on July 1st to reprimand members for their posts in the topic. A number of statements MDPP made in the topic were proven to be lies, including his own notion that "[he] was not redacting content in any member's posts," something which had already been disproven on the SBC Discord by jjsthekid. This censorship of several posts, including the controversial topic "HELLO ONE AND ALL!!!11" - in which MDPP stated that he provided the "G-rated version" of his meeting with Kylie - resulted in an even larger firestorm across SBC, with several members accusing MDPP and his brother Face of censorship. This censorship debacle was amplified by both MDPP and Face opting to censor a number of posts on the forum, completely redacting several posts along with the words "MDPP," "Kylie," "pedophile," and any other term that they believed to be incriminating. The resulting backlash ensued mainly due to many members feeling that their posts had lost the meaning they once had, and that the censorship was ultimately pointless.

The controversy regarding the censorship resulted in an increased vitriol from SBC's membership, who continued to make posts disparaging MDPP in various threads, with members like Hayden being accused of doxxing and being banned by the former admin, despite it no longer being within his jurisdiction to make this decision. As a last-minute resort, MDPP changed every post outside of his own within the topic to read as "Redacted. Please use the appropriate Discord channel. Thanks." A number of reactions resulted from this, including tvguy creating an entirely new thread entitled "You Are a Disgrace" with the intention of re-posting his original sentiments. A partial image copy of the thread prior to its replies being redacted can be seen here.

MDPP was officially banned from SBC on July 1st, but continued to hold technical control of the site against the will of the staff and community.

Site takedown and conclusion (July 1)

As a result of the overwhelmingly negative reaction MDPP received for his Resignation topic, and with the addition of new topics aimed solely at members venting their feelings against him, MDPP took down SBC at approximately 4:50 P.M. EST on July 1st. The message left by MDPP, pictured to the right, read as follows:

The message MDPP left on SBC following his takedown of the site.

"It brings great displeasure that I have to temporarily shut down SBC. I never wanted to do such a thing ever in my life, but it is quite clear that SBC has strayed away from the very thing that we have came together to do: talk about SpongeBob. While some may see this as an attempt to censor even more of what is going on, the truth of this shut down is that things have truly gotten out of hand. Nobody here should be proud of how they have been behaving as of late. Take this shutdown as a means to calm down. Eventually SBC will be back online. You may continue to discuss on Discord. Best of wishes to all."

A number of reactions ensued as a result of this, with many members expressing extreme discontent in the site's takedown. Members quickly gathered on a new Discord channel entitled "Resignation Discussion" to vent their feelings on the topic, writing that MDPP had overstepped his boundaries by way of taking down the site that, in the eyes of the members, no longer belonged to him. Prior to the shutdown JCM, tvguy, and jjs all put forth efforts to keep the site active in case an incident like this were to occur, as MDPP had warned prior to the site's shutdown that he would likely take action against the site if anyone were to, in his own words, "[have] one more slip up." This was likely in reference to Hayden's post, which was seen as the catalyst for MDPP's decision by some.

SBC remained down for over six hours, but was later brought back online just after 11:00 P.M. EST. MDPP explained that SBC's return was guided by "outside negotiations," which were later revealed by Kylie to be an e-mail exchange between the former admin and Kylie's own mother regarding SBC. MDPP revealed in this conversation that he had transferred site powers entirely to JCM, vowing to leave SBC alone.

Censoring issues

The mass censoring of the usage of MDPP's name presented a glaring technical problem, as his real name (used by some members only to be censored to "hilaryfan80") was hardcoded into SBC's database as a word filter. This resulted in unrelated posts containing the name being filtered to say "hilaryfan80" instead. Due to the complex coding used by MDPP to create these censors, they were not removed until many months after the ending of the Renaissance.

In addition, this very wiki page was found on July 18th to have been mysteriously censored; not only were all mentions of MDPP's name censored, but links above to the image of his threat and to the image archive of the Resignation thread were deleted as well. In addition, MDPP's name was retroactively removed from this page's edit history. Due to the nature and method of the removals, this was speculated to be an attack on the wiki's database by MDPP.

SBM fallout

Also on July 18th, SpongeBuddy Mania admin ssj4gogita4 created a (now-deleted, but mostly archived) thread on SBM, in which he came to the defense of Face, as well as Spongetron Robotpants and disgraced SBC admin Cream, the latter two of whom had been previously suspended from SBC for their involvement in Metalgate. All three had been banned from SBM by then-mod Trophy for victim-blaming Kylie regarding her relationship with MDPP. In this thread, ssj stated that he had unbanned all three members banned by Trophy, and that he had wanted to ban both MDPP and Kylie from the site. He also attempted in his first post to shift more of the blame for the relationship between the two onto Kylie and her family, stating, among other things, that "while MDPP is the adult here, [Kylie] has shown how mature and intelligent she is on the forums."

Similarly to MDPP's "Resignation" before it, this thread was met with near-universal backlash from every member who replied, with many criticizing ssj for his actions, as well as his insistence on treating the entire situation as being typical forum "drama." The outrage caused by the thread resulted in numerous SBM members permaneltly leaving SBC out of disgust towards ssj's handling of the situation. Most notably, President Squidward forced the staff of SBM to permanently ban him from the site in October, wanting to make his leave permanent. A handful of members also remained active on both sites, but continued expressing their displeasure on SBM, including directly to the staff.

Curiously, rumors began that MDPP hacked SBC twice in this time period. In the first, he supposedly put Prez on the moderator queue, just after he had been banned from SBM. In the second, he supposedly banned Hawkbit, at the same time as his dispute with ssj alongside Aquatic. While JCM moved to take extra security measures to try and prevent more of what was suspected to be MDPP's attacks, the site's security was known to be in potential jeopardy.

Tensions came to a head on December 15th, 2018, when ssj made yet another decision to not only unban Face, Tron, and Cream, but in addition, to unban MDPP himself. Though MDPP's main account supposedly remained banned from posting, he continued on SBM as an admin, using an alternate account. This served as the final breaking point for relations between SBC and SBM, and fully reignited the long-dead rivalry between the sites. Many SBC members (including Kylie, Aya, Halibut, Hawkbit, BenPaz, RDSP, and Wintermelon43) were banned from SBM for lambasting this decision once ssj forcibly silenced further discussion of the entire subject under the pretense of "legal matters." JCM, despite having been largely inactive on the site, was also banned in late January 2019, fracturing the only link SBC and SBM still had left. It is unlikely that the relationship between the two websites will recover after these events.

Community reactions

The events that occurred within the Third SBC Renaissance garnered a number of reactions from SBC members. Due to the extraordinary circumstances behind MDPP's removal, the Third Renaissance has been referred to as SBC's "Me Too", in reference to the international movement against sexual abuse.

On the flip side, the social outcome of the Third Renaissance was widely celebrated. Kylie was made the Featured Employee for the summer, and a number of older members returned to the site despite inactivity in order to support her. The event culminated in a number of topics and posts being made (notably here and here) in support of Kylie and the community as a whole. A number of members cited the Third Renaissance as strengthening and re-energizing the community after the exhausting events of Metalgate, and ushering in a new, robust era for SBC. The event significantly increased activity on the Discord and the forums.

As a commemoration of the ending of the Third Renaissance, in the late hours of July 1st, tvguy released a new SBC skin called Together Since '09. Made entirely of white and pink colors (the latter as a shout-out to Kylie), it also shifts the forum sidebar to the left instead of the right. As this is a direct reference to SBC's Forumotion era, it was interpreted as being a silent celebration of SBC's endurance.