Disclaimer: This article reflects the opinion of the author and is not necessarily indicative of the official stance of the Grand Republic or this publication.
The MicroWiki community has been used as a platform by upstart micronations for about a decade. NottaLotta Acres and Salania, the noted predecessors of our Delvera, both greatly benefited from that platform to engage in relations with other micronations. The forums of the wiki provided a common ground for any and all to exchange ideas and constructive criticisms, conduct business such as trade and treaties, and many other micronational pursuits and interests.
But what in earlier times would have been called minor drawbacks to this community have recently become roadblocks and major obstacles to the ends of participation therein. These include simulationist countries being given access to the platform, thereby muddying the waters for those who are more legitimate and serious about their micronation. Also a problem is the fact that a single individual could claim just about anything at all about their micronation, from an inflated population to how functional their economy or the strength of their military, and there is no incentive or accepted method of discovering the truth of that matter.
The sheer number of micronational representatives in the community alone inhibits the individual nations from exercising due diplomatic discretion, as anything posted to the forum is put before the unchecked masses for critique in the same venue.
It is reasonable to expect moderators and administrators to keep some sort of order, but with such wide parameters in so public a forum, it is clear that any regulations or codes of conduct must needs be very general and not at all specific to whom may post and the decorum or etiquette required.
As the forum is intermacronational, spanning many diverse cultures and language barriers, some micronations find it necessary to continue a presence in the community, yet not participate much at all, lest they be sucked into the drama and divisiveness inherent to the unchecked mass of users.
The varying degrees of candidness, pretensions, prejudices and seriousness of participants is confusing and altogether not fitting for a serious platform for conducting intermicronational affairs.
The major example of this which necessitated Delvera’s representatives’ departure from the community was the moderators’ and administrators using their positions to alter any post, reputation point, profile imagery, or rule to their own, individual satisfaction.
This played out poorly for me, as I had used a word which one moderator decided was inappropriate to describe the quality of military items received in NottaLotta Acres. The quality was such that I described it as “a box of crap,” very much in passing and not at all the point of my post to the community. My post was altered to remove this word, I was given a reprimand in a reply, and at my first word of protest, I was sent a scathing private message from the moderator about how difficult his job is.
I was incensed and allowed myself to be caught up in the moment of argument, but I made it clear I did not find it fitting to be berated nor have my protests ignored and deleted. This went unaddressed by the head administrator and owner of the Forum, a self-described “overlord of the community,” and the only solution was that a list of banned profanity be made up to include the word “crap.” The suggestion was made by our own Jordan Brizendine, but this was not intended to solve the problem of irate moderators. That problem, again, went entirely unaddressed.
After some discussion, we two Delverans decided it was best for our own dignity and for the legitimacy of the nation to leave the niche community and seek more legitimate and more conducive methods of interacting with other micronations and with the general public.
It may well be that there is no perfect solution for an open forum in a community of micronations. There may well be no one-size-fits-all solution to any of the issues herein described. All the more reason that we no longer participate in such forums, platforms and communities on an official level.
Author: Dylan Callahan