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 MDPP and Homie. Struggles between MDPP and the rest of the community began in the early hours of June 29th, and reached its 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 Homie their support.


Background (June 25-29)

The lead-up to the Third Renaissance began on June 25, 2018, when Homie shared a document she wrote about two different relationships she had with then-admin MDPP. This relationship had become the center of much discussion, due in part to Metal Snake using events surrounding their breakup as a point to criticize the SBC staff. Homie 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 Homie, seen on Discord.

The Third Renaissance fully began in the early hours of June 29th, 2018, when MDPP issued a violent, public threat to Homie on the SBC Discord (pictured to the left). This outburst prompted several users to call for immediate staff action against MDPP.

This initial outburst was mostly overlooked early on in the day, having occurred in the very early hours of the morning. Later in the afternoon, however, HawkbitAlpha again pressed MDPP on Discord about his threat, leading previously uninvolved members to heavily pressure MDPP. As a result, he issued an improvised resignation message. At the same time, details of Homie and MDPP's relationship had begun to spread faster, leading to MDPP losing virtually all support from the community.

The next morning, on June 30th, MDPP wrote a longer resignation message in 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 redacted posts 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 Homie - resulted in a major controversy 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," "Homie," "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 copy of the thread prior to its replies being redacted was kept by Hawkbit, and can be seen here.

MDPP was officially banned from SBC on July 1st, but retained 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 Homie to be an e-mail exchange between the former admin and Homie'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 well 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 HawkbitAlpha's 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 a hack on the wiki's database by MDPP.

SBM fallout

Also on July 18th, SpongeBuddy Mania admin ssj4gogita4 created a (now-deleted, but mostly archived by JCM) 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 Trophy for victim-blaming Homie regarding her relationship with MDPP. In this thread, ssj, among other things, admitted to wanting to ban both MDPP and Homie from the site for their relationship, and announced that he would unban Face, Tron, and Cream. As the thread went on, it became evident that ssj had already taken MDPP's side, made clear when he began acting as MDPP's "mouthpiece" by forwarding his words to SBM.

Similarly to MDPP's "Resignation" before it, this thread was met with almost-unanimous 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 moving to SBC out of disgust towards ssj's handling of the situation. Most notably, President Squidward moved to have himself banned from SBM in October, wanting to make his leave permanent.

A few, however, remained, determined to undermine ssj's administration. The most notable of this group were former Chat Mods TheLocalAquatic and HawkbitAlpha, both of whom were banned from posting by ssj as a result of this strategy. Hawkbit, in particular, blasted ssj multiple times for his (self-admitted) ongoing friendship with MDPP, contending that said friendship gives ssj a serious conflict of interest, and that he should be considered unfit to be an admin for SBM as a result.

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 has taken extra security measures to try and prevent more of what might be MDPP's attacks, total security cannot be guaranteed.

Tensions came to a head on December 15th, 2018, when ssj made yet another decision to unban Face, Tron, and Cream, but in addition, to partially unban MDPP himself. Though MDPP's main account was supposedly post-banned, MDPP continues to post on SBM from an alternate account and is now an administrator there. This has served as the breaking point for relations between SBC and SBM, and it has fully reignited the long-dead rivalry between the sites, as many SBC members (including Homie, Aya, Halibut, Hawkbit, BenPaz, RDSP, and Wintermelon43) were banned for harshly criticizing this decision, which became against the rules (instant ban) when ssj banned legal matters from the site. JCM was banned on SBM in late January despite doing almost nothing from his account in the weeks prior and certainly nothing rulebreaking, 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. Homie 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 Homie 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 Homie), 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 is interpreted as being a silent celebration of SBC's enduring power.