It has been covered magnificently by Justicar’s Open Letter to Matt Dillahunty, which I suggest you watch if you’re interested (and have the time.) It’s 99% snark-free.
I’m just going to provide some quick commentary on the whole situation. This whole drama was started in response to a criticism sent to Matt, “If you were to post over there, and they didn’t know who you were, you’d end up banned.” So, Matt uses his old anonymous account, ‘Curious’ to do just that. He provided what he claims to be a legitimate and fair criticism of the situation in which Skep Tickle (another recent heretic) was banned, in order to demonstrate that anyone could provide valid feedback that the forumites would be receptive to.
After being treated like a nobody, Matt reveals his identity.
His account was in fact banned. For violating the forum rule that limits each person to only having one account. But what’s important is the response that he received throughout the thread. His post was unilaterally rejected by a moderator online at the time. He questions this and the responses quickly turn into ‘let it go’. The_Laughing_Coyote reveals their groupthink by saying, “Curious, your post got unapproved because it was a long winded pile of crap” – in reference to a post that they could never have seen.
What I see beyond that is a number of supporters doing one of two things:
- standing by the decision and reinforcing how out of line Matt’s actions were, by portraying them in the worst light possible (essentially conflating his actions to ‘disingenuous trolling’) and/or attacking Matt for causing the problem
- taking the PR option and being overly concerned about the “real problem” (that the forum policy needs revising) and taking attention off the fact that they did in fact treat him like nothing until they realised who he was – they saw a relatively unknown poster making a long-winded (I presume based on Flewellyn’s account) criticism and lumped it in with all the other “trolls”.
The problem here is not that a moderator was unilaterally capable of dropping Matt’s lengthy criticism into the memory hole. The problem is not a ‘bug’ in the forum software that made the post contents unable to be retrieved. The problem is not that Matt’s taking this too personally, or that he had an anonymous second account.
The problem is the mentality that has led to this fiasco of a sequence of events, which critics of A+ have known all along to be the toxic root of all of this nonsense.
Matt’s little experiment acquired data that is 100% consistent with the criticism he was trying to disprove: that identity plays an integral role in the perceived veracity and importance of objections. The “in-group good out-group bad” mentality paraded its circus in front of your own eyes.
In his video about the incident, he says that this hasn’t changed his opinion of A+. He says that the A+ forums isn’t the entirety of A+. That’s true. But if you’re reading this, Matt, the A+ people are just as bad, and in the same capacity, for the same reasons, as the figureheads.