A little bit of history for you all... Shortly after Mussolini (you know, Hitler's buddy who was ruler of Italy) was executed - along with his mistress - their bodies where hung up in the town square. Shortly after the towns’ people beat, shot, and stabbed these bodies until they were just mangled corpses.
Well - history repeats its self on automags.org. You see, I thought that a person was guilty of something and banned him. And I named a couple people who I thought were involved too. By putting up these targets, these people unfairly got a lot of flack they didn't deserve. I am here to apologize and set the record straight.
On Friday, the AO user mykroft emailed me upset that someone was spamming using his name. Basically he received a bounced email to a third person that used HIS user name in the email message and had his PERSONAL email address as the return email (which is why it bounced to him).
Mykroft was rather upset about this, as anyone would be. He presented the email and evidence, and I compared it to donggies IP address from posting on AO. He has a static internet IP address and there is no doubt he sent the email.
So - with this knowledge - it looked like that donggie was spamming people, using a false endorsement. It’s kind of stupid, but not unheard of. Well, seeing what I saw, I was rather upset he did this too, so I just banned him and explained it on the forum as to why. At the same time I suggested that Mag_doc and or rexel16 may or may not be donggie as another alias (the Internet is big, and this wouldn’t be the first time someone has taken two or more identities on a forum).
So - because of the knowledge I had, I acted swift and hard. I am used to taking one swing of the sword and being done with it. Well - in this case I was a bit premature.
Here is what really happened:
Donggie DOES have a website, www.modifiedpaintball.com. He did send out some emails to people who had previously contacted him about other paintball related things. The problem is, he was using a form based email program and he inadvertently made it look like mykroft was SENDING the recommendation to check out the site, when donggie really meant to send the message TO mykroft.
To make matters work - he is doing this paintball thing on the side to make a bit of extra money because he was laid off from a nice paying IT job due to the economy down turn.
Mag_doc is a guy in California who likes to tinker with mags. He hooked up with donggie to do some gun work and repairs for him and worked with him on the site and the forums. He sells guns he builds up for fun and to make a bit of cash.
And to make matters worse, mag_doc is recovering from a bad car crash and is on disability. (this is sounding like a Charles Dickens book, isn’t it?)
Rexel16 is a 16-yr. old kid who was helping mag_doc sell some guns online. You see, mag_doc wasn’t real web savvy and rexel16 was helping mag_doc out. In exchange, mag_doc was going to build him a stock mag from some parts he had for helping him out.
Now - I had no idea of all of the crap my post would stir up. Granted - a bit of anger is understandable when members feel that another member has betrayed their trust by doing something like sending out false endorsements. But a couple indeed did go over the line. In fact some of the posts should have been deleted. But, like Mussolini hanging in the square, he was the "bad guy", and everyone want a chance to get a kick in.
But now I see that I did not have all the information. I made a mistake and acted without all the information. In hindsight I should have contacted donggie BEFORE I publicly hung him out to be flogged. I HONESTLY did NOT mean to drag mag_doc and rexel16 into all of this. But they were obviously pulled down into it by the "angry mob". Like I said, I NEVER had any reason to ban or be upset at either rexel16 or mag_doc, but I thought they COULD be aliases of donggie.
So I whole heatedly apologize for my mistake. I feel bad because a) you lost face with people on the forum, b) you lost business because of this, and c) a lot of un-nice things were said to these people that they didn’t deserve.
Some people may want to point at mykroft. Yes he called this to my attention, and he presented the evidence. But *I* am still the "keeper of the castle". I should have gotten both sides of the story before acting. I know that mykroft no longer thinks donggie is to blame - nor that he did anything wrong intentionally.
I want to stress that any bad will towards these people should immediately be shed. I spent about an hour on the phone with mag_doc and donggie. They are both stand up people, and while they are upset, they also understand that I acted with certain assumptions and was trying to do my job, even if it wasn’t the right move.
I just want to clear up that www.modifiedpaintball.com is a reputable dealer - and does not engage in unethical business practices. Indeed, if you read some of their customer’s posts, they do a good job at what they do.
And Mag_doc is just a great guy who tinkers with guns and makes a buck or two off of it. He does not practice unethical business practices either - and he would be a great person to turn to if you are looking to build up a custom mag.
Rexel16 is a kid who is helping mag_doc sell some guns. Both are private people and should be allowed to post on the classifieds.
Again - I feel bad about this confusion. I am unbanning donggie after I post this. I know that many of you said what you said, under the assumption that he was being unethical. But I think that many of us owe these people an apology, and knowing the users on this forum, they will do the right thing.
Again - I am truly sorry for this mistake and hope that they will continue to visit and use automags.org.