Due to the nature of the ban and to be completely transparent with the community I am going to be releasing the details of our investigation of the incident. The following information is about the administrative ban of Saradania0914 (Sara) due to misconduct with an unwitting minor. The name of said minor will obviously not be mentioned and certain details will be generalize to protect the identity of that minor.
It was brought to the attention TEP DMZ Discord team members on Monday of the possibility that sexually explicit chat(s) (ERP) happened between Sara and a minor over a period of 6-9 months in private and it was also uncovered that Sara was actually a adult male masquerading as a female. They immediately formed a group chat of former and current TEP DMZ Discord team members and were in contact with the minor whom was able to confirm what had happened and that ended up being what we classify as ERP and they were able to let us know that the evidence still did exist. Due to the nature of the content and for legal reasons no one outside of the minor knows the exact content but we did advise the minor to screenshot the ERP in case Sara deleted them and had them report the abuse to Discord. A GHR was also submitted to NationStates to make them aware that it’s possible Sara has been doing this to other players. I say possible because NationStates rarely will rely on off-site information but they can research on their end to see if they find anything in Telegrams. This is as far was we can go with reporting abuse as Sara is based out of the Philippines and not within a U.S. jurisdiction.
Once they had confirmation that the ERP did happen the various TEP Discord team members immediately started to remove Sara from all TEP-related servers and were in the processes of getting Sara kicked from every NS-related server by the time they brought in a forum admin, which was me, to the group chat. Upon reviewing what was going on I brought in all the other administrators. As the entire group was working on letting as many regions as we could know about what we had uncovered and to continue the ongoing investigation the permanent ban and statement was issued (https://www.tapatalk.com/groups/the_east_pacific/administrative-actions-t7979-s15.html#p203984). As of this post Sara has been banned from the region, all TEP servers and forum. All the GCR and UCR that Sara was a member of regionally and Discord server-wise have issued corresponding bans.
As our investigation continued we brought in a forum administrator from TSP and TWP to assist us with more technical details with IP addresses. As I was gathering IP information to share with the other regions it was discovered that from the period of time that Sara joined our forum to when they last posted had used 48 different IP addresses.
This can be easily overlooked unless something happens and we look deeper into a person post history because initial validation relies on very little post history. For the first few months their IP was actually pretty consistent even with it changing it was the same ones and not exactly uncommon but we now know the in the Philippines it is very easy to change and/or get a different IP.
Going back to the 48 different IP addresses, after the first few months, it ballooned to nearly a new IP each day, which now will lead The Admin Team to have under consideration to not validate any new accounts from users in the Philippines going forward due to the ease of changing IP addresses and the possibility that Sara could get back in. Existing users from the Philippines will be unaffected at this time.
A few points I would like to make are directly to the community:
The first being that I want to remind every user that any member of forum staff or a Discord staff member are always available if you run into anything uncomfortable or something just seems off. We would rather have a false report then something real happen. If you see something on here or Discord that is not appropriate then call the person out to a staff member or multiple staff members. We like pings.
If you are 17 or younger you should probably be staying away from Direct Messages or Private Chats (unless it is more than one person to hold each other accountable)… from when I started in the game… the Internet is a much different place. Personal Messages on the forum can be reported to staff so they are not truly 100% private.
Lastly, I will be working on an expanded / updated Internet Safety & You to better promote safe practices for not just here in TEP/NS but generally anywhere on the Internet.