Everything after this point is the writing of Skipsy. Horse News thanks his co-operation in allowing us to publicly publish this to our masses.
What have they become?
[This document from beginning to end does not reflect every person on the team, a lot of them are great people and were awesome friends.]
I’m sitting here today, disappointed in a lot of the people I’ve called friends for the past two years. Why? Well… here’s the story, and how it’s affected me. I’m not the most well spoken person on this planet, and I’m certainly no author. I’m just trying to convey my thoughts into words as best as I can.
Two years ago, I used to hang out in an IRC chatroom occasionally drawing on livestreams and hosting skype calls in them. A small group of regulars would join that chat and they became good friends of mine, always in skype group calls together, chatting and just having loads of fun. Over time the idea sprung up that we’d create a small media site dedicated to hosting podcasts, interviews and reviews. That became what was known as EverfreeRadio. I was involved for a short time, but decided not to be too involved with the production after a while. It felt as if it was going to be too much work for me to bother with outside of my job and personal artwork. However, I stuck around with them because they’ve been such good friends to me, I don’t have too many people I can say that about.
Over time, they grew to be fairly reputable in the fandom, hosting bigshot interviews and working hard to get somebody on their show before anyone else did. No problem with that, right? I mean if you want attention, you gotta act fast and be good at it! Well, that mentality has continued for the past two years, and attracted a lot of both positive and negative attention.
It kept growing, absorbing all sorts of people and shows. The atmosphere slowly went from a few friends having fun to a work like setting. From casual discussion and social activities to deadlines and drama. It’s as if they went from being friends to co-workers in a busy office.
They worked hard to be the best in the fandom, too hard. Other groups in the fandom began to spread hate and lies about EFN, starting pointless drama and name calling. Sure we can all agree that it is a bit childish and stupid. But you know what made it worse? EFN let it get to them, they let it boil, responding back passive aggressively either on twitter or wherever things may be happening. Discussions in chat with them was often about fandom drama, how “we’re better than the others” and the all too often “I’m going to fix this” by clarifying their side, only to stir the pot even more. Some of the staff let power get to their heads, and accusations of lies popped up. “Oh but no, we’re too reputable and professional to lie about anything, and that’s what our loyal fans know too!” Someone from the group does something stupid and is called out for it, oh but what is that? They didn’t do such a thing? None of the other EFN staff were around to witness this event, but it couldn’t possibly be true because they said they didn’t do it.
The mentality of the higher up, more core staff in the group is “we have to publicly fix this, otherwise it’s going to get worse”. Some of them realise that this has been an ongoing issue, but refuse to ever properly bring it up with everyone else. It always ends up being heated discussions and internal drama. It’s become a cesspool of hypocritical and self-righteous thinking. When they find out that another group blacklists anything to do with them, they get upset about it, not saying they shouldn’t. But deny it as they will, they do that to other groups as well, discriminating either people or content because of their connections with the “rival” groups. So far as to rant about it with themselves and call others spinless because of their choice of friends or acquaintances. It’s funny how they say they’re the most professional group in the fandom, sure they used to be pretty professional externally, but internally they’re a bunch of stuck-up children.
They refuse to properly acknowledge any sort of negative feedback, even internally. It’s brought up that they discuss external drama too much and need to let it be, you know what they say? “It’s our group, we can talk about whatever we want” or “you’re overreacting” Anyone who’s not EFN gets their opinions shut down. They can’t seem to learn anything about how to deal with drama, and they certainly can’t take criticism. They preach and preach about how you shouldn’t respond to the haters, but when someone hates on EFN and spreads some rumor or lie, they have to go out of their way to try and fix it. Even calling people out publicly because they did something EFN doesn’t like. Now if that isn’t the definition of hypocritical.
I have my own fair share of drama, my part of the fandom is certainly no stranger to such things. You don’t see me coming into the chat and talking every day about how someone hates me, or how someone is spreading blatant lies about me. In fact, do you know what I do about it? I don’t care or talk about it at all, to anyone. It continues on in the background, and I continue doing what I do without any problem. Talking about it only makes me stressed and my life outside the fandom harder, so you can only guess what happens when EFN is talking about it all the time.
“The fandom needs this” or “ the fandom needs that!” Honestly? The fandom can wholly sustain itself without any sort of media group. Most people get their information from major social media sites and friends, media groups are just a convenience to them. Perhaps the occasional interview or review isn’t a bad thing, but EFN takes themselves too seriously as a media group, acting as if they’re a national news corporation competing for the number one spot. It’s pony news and media, for my little pony fans. I’m not saying EFN should just drop dead and quit, I’m just saying they’ve become too full of themselves and they need to realise this. This fandom as a whole acts entitled, and some of EFN is by no means excluded from that.
I’m probably going to be banned from their chat group because I’m “violating the rules” they have set for it. I used to call a lot of people on the team friends, but over the past two years it’s just become petty political drama bullshit. Just when you think you’re gonna have a good time with some friends, someone barges in to complain about drama and then everybody gets all worked up, and there’s no time left to be proper friends. Even if they aren’t in the wrong with their involvement in the drama, talking about it all the goddamn time doesn’t do any good for friendships.
I feel like I’m going to lose a lot of them as friends after expressing my opinions and truths about them. But honestly, I felt I already lost them a long time ago with how much they’ve changed in the last two years. You know what’s gonna happen? It’s happened before, because now that I’ve voiced my opinion about some of them, the ones who refuse to call me a friend after are only going to cause more drama internally, and shame anyone who continues to call me a friend. Group mentality will kick in again and a lot of them will succumb to the shaming, and just forget about me. I’m not going to fault anyone who still wants to be their friend, because I’m not that kind of person. I enjoy being in this fandom to make friends and have fun, not to talk about petty bullshit all the time and have to deal with this every. single. day.
“Well you can go somewhere else if you don’t wanna hear about it” I had nowhere else to go, they were my only active chatty group of friends I hung out with. I need the social connections, there aren’t too many in my life to begin with. Choosing to cut them off because of how they act was a hard decision, but it’s one I’ve been contemplating for over a year now.
A fandom doesn’t form for this kind of petty bullshit, a fandom is for meeting friends who share a common interest. It’s an optional part of life, a fandom isn’t your job, a fandom is merely a hobby or fun interest. I think every big group in the fandom needs to know this, it’s not just EFN that acts stuck up like this. If your involvement in the the fandom is solely to be competitive and job like in nature, I think it’s time to re-evaluate your life and perhaps take a real job in the marketing and media industry.
Everything I said above is certainly not exclusive to EFN, it’s just an unfortunate factor of the group mentality they, and many others possess. Even if the drama that played out behind the scenes didn’t involve the people I was being social with, it certainly got in the way and it made it real hard to be friends. Like I said I’m not going to fault anyone who sticks with them. If EFN comes to a burning end, or continues on it’s path, I’m still here for the ones who will call me a friend.
I’m not a very vocal person, I don’t speak up about things that bother me very often and I can be faulted for that, a lot. But all this internal denial and debate has just brought me to my breaking point. They were my first group of friends coming into this fandom, and it’s unfortunate that they had to end up this way.
As an added note, I wrote this at the end of November 2013. It’s sat here for five months, and I can clearly see that absolutely nothing has changed.
Horse News would also like to ask that the IRC mods on #EverfreeNetwork not be so butthurt about their Glorious Leader's inability to keep a halfway adult appearance when at a convention with important members of our little community. We also ask that they do not censor their own IRC clients so their viewers maintain a stance of blissful unawareness.
Keep an eye on "Vida" and "Rariman"'s posts. I eventually got banned, but Vida and an anonymous friend were able to get some screens of the action.