CAPsizing the Vote: A Flawed Forum Exposed

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Banned deucer.
Surprise, Mother Hubbards. Kept you waiting, huh?

Ladies, gentlemen, and whatever else has opted to exist on this part of the Internet, I have returned from my all-too-long absence here on Smogon to deliver an ultimatum. Before I do, however, I would like to come clean about something.

Something big.

The last time I posted, I confessed to creating multiple accounts, and asked to have my contributions deleted from the forum and Discord to remove my existence from the entirety of the internet, an act fueled by a mixture of depression, joblessness, and an unceremonious ban from the Create-A-Pokémon Project. While I consider myself someone who is publicly optimistic, helpful, honorable, and always willing to help and befriend those around me, anyone who personally knows me will tell you one of my greatest negative traits: A vengeful streak. Mess with me, and I will do everything in my power to get back at everyone involved without even coming to blows.

And so, rather than wallow in my own sadness further, I instead opted to have some fun. For the last six months, I have studied. I have plotted. I have waited. I disassociated myself from the Slapperfish alias and essentially played dead to create the most precise and elaborate revenge scheme that the Smogon community - nay, the Pokémon community - had ever known.

And it was to be known... as Operation: CAPsize.

Waiting until the CAP 30 process had begun, I would use a series of accounts, each one given a well-crafted background and differing "inflections," and nearly all of them working behind a VPN, to play the part of multiple users with different levels of competitive and artistic experience. This image contains every account I've logged in on this forum under, while this image contains a list of IP addresses/VPN locations, time zones, forum usernames, passwords, email addresses/passwords, dates of birth and names that I would have used to achieve my goals - some fake, some real, for reasons I will explain in a moment. The figurehead of this whole operation was to be my alternate account Boing! who I had painstakingly created to be as different from me as possible, going so far as to research differences between US and UK spellings, familiarizing myself with the metric system, and ensuring that the account was only active during the daytime hours of the eastern hemisphere. Posing as a trans woman from the UK, I would use my artistic prowess to convince users on Discord of "her" existence, submitting my own design as a sleeper agent, using my army of alternate accounts to boost my poll numbers by a sizeable yet believable amount, and ultimately winning CAP 30's art polls without anyone the wiser, forever altering the direction of the project to my whim.

Then, sometime between CAP 30's 2.0 release and the initial stages of CAP 31, I would confess my plan to everyone involved in spectacular fashion, revealing my identity and throwing a massive wrench into the works. I would have boasted about how I used a VPN to rig a Pokémon election on YouTube, Reddit, social media, the works. I was even aiming to make the news! With this terrifying revelation, CAP 30 and all its promotional material would be forever marred, causing a massive stir in the community, damaging the reputation of the project beyond repair and forcing its moderators to reconsider whether to even continue with future projects with such a massive breach in security. So great would this plan have been, that CAP's moderators would have no choice but to strip all instances of my involvement with them, whether it be on the forums, Discord, or otherwise.

Now, most of you will have noticed a certain name at the top of the list of accounts in the Notepad file: LowenCraft . Some of you are aware of my past "history" with the account, and those of you with access to the inner workings of the forum will argue that the IP address(es) I've posted under as LowenCraft couldn't be any more different to my own. Well, I would like to officially confirm and confess that LowenCraft is, indeed, my own alternate account. And it's all thanks to a simple piece of software from the deep web that has allowed me to customize my IP without being considered an open proxy, one that I've used from the very beginning to pretend I was someone and someplace else. Using it, I was able to sow a bit more chaos by denying its involvement with this account and regain my trust with the locals by playing the victim, partly as a means of combating the depressive state I was in at the time. It's a bit finicky though, so I restricted its use to a single account, and it's honestly a wonder that I've managed to pull the wool over your eyes for this long. In fact, I'm almost certain the real LowenCraft doesn't even know what Smogon is, so there's no way for him to be complicit in any of this.

Some of you may have also noticed a handful of the accounts in the rather heavily censored image above have the words "pre-existing" next to them. You see, as of this post, the Smogon forums are hilariously unsecured for a website. Creating an account is as simple as clicking Register, typing in a username, email, password and date of birth. No verification, no email notifications that the account was made, nothing. Someone could literally use the President's email for an account and begin posting here within seconds.

In fact, I did just that to prove that you can.

This presents its own rather terrifying prospect: Email addresses can be stolen for the personal gain of other users. And you can turn off email notifications so that they'll never even know that their email is being used. Some censored parts of the document above contain existing email addresses and, in some cases, actual dates of birth that do not belong to me, but to people who I have personally been affiliated with: Friends, family, siblings, random strangers that emailed me one time, childhood enemies, etc.. I will state explicitly, however, that I did not "steal" this information with the intent of demonizing any of them; in fact, had I succeeded with my plans, I would have used these accounts to promote the works of these people (many of which are artistically inclined) while under their respective masks long before revealing that I wasn't actually them. The only reason I decided to use their emails instead of making even more of my own was, again, simply to prove it's possible.


...And all of this would have worked out too, if not for a single rule set in place. The majority of what you've read up until this point was written long before I even started putting this plan into action, and something that even I, in all of my vainglorious scheming, had neglected to even consider a possibility: As technology becomes better and smarter, so too do the people it's being used against. Presumably as a countermeasure to prevent trolling, harassment, etc., as well as ensuring fair play in competitions, polls and the like, VPNs and open proxies are strictly prohibited here on the forums, and result in a user's permanent ban if detected. As soon as I made my first post behind my first proxy, my plan was doomed.

(Side note, while I commend whoever had the foresight to implement this rule and prevent something like Operation: CAPsize from happening, I'd like to note that it is very much a double-edged sword. Because internet privacy is essentially prohibited on this forum, it would not take much for someone from, say, 4chan, to hack into the forum, steal the IP addresses of every single individual who has ever posted here - yes, that includes myself - and use that to their own ends. And what will you do when that happens?)

I tried to get in touch with a couple moderators to appeal my bans and resume my plans, perhaps even convince them to abolish the forum's anti-VPN policy, but to no avail. I was turned down, rejected, ignored, and outright called disingenuous before I could even prove my "innocence." Over half a year of planning down the drain, brought about by a mixture of pride, newfound income, and my misguided belief in the naiveté of others.

And so, having finally brought my finely woven web of treachery to light, and left with no other options, I now realize the easiest solution is often the best. I have decided to do the only thing left within my power to achieve my goals: Use legal action.

Now, I don't intend to sue Smogon or anything like that, since there isn't remotely anything I could personally hold the website, its moderators, or its community liable for. But when luck is the only thing that has been keeping Pokémon Showdown alive for nearly a decade, all it takes is one person to ruin everyone else's fun.

I have in my hand a personal letter addressed directly to The Pokémon Company: signed, sealed, stamped, and ready to mail. Were this letter to be received by them, they would almost certainly send a Cease & Desist to the people who created Showdown, ending in the complete shutdown of the program, and, by proxy, the likely end of the Create-a-Pokémon Project.

There is, however, one way all of you can avoid this fate: By ridding CAP of my contributions. As previously stated, my last forum post contains a concise list detailing what needs to be removed and how to go about doing so. However, this list now includes the following:

- Justyke's upcoming 3D model animation, to be replaced with the runner-up
- The Chromera promotional trailer (Did you really think I wouldn't notice I wasn't credited for coming up with it in the first place?), to be deleted from Smogon's official Twitter

You have exactly five (5) days from the time this thread was posted to comply with my relatively simple demands. That should be more than enough time to track down and delete everything, rerun polls and what have you. Should all criteria be met, I will gladly accept defeat, remove any physical and virtual existence of the letter from my possession, and use what resources I have available to benefit Smogon from the shadows, helping its moderators ensure that the forums are more tightly secured and that something of this magnitude could never possibly happen again. However, should even a single stone be left unturned, I will see to it personally that the legal wrath of the Pokémon franchise brings about a swift and unceremonious end to everything that all of you have striven to achieve in the last 13 years.

Before I end this post, I would like to personally thank Quanyails for her part in all of this. Were it not for her actions, Showdown and CAP would not be teetering on the edge of closure as they are now. In addition to Operation: CAPsize and the letter I've written, my disdain for the project has manifested itself in other lesser forms, such as the now-defunct "Quanyails Hate Wiki" created under the LowenCraft pseudonym. But now that I have come clean about my intentions, I can finally leave my troubled past with this wretched project behind me and start anew elsewhere. I may have turned myself into the villain here, but hey, someone's gotta root for the bad guys.

Until then, this is CAP's very own resident fallen angel, signing off one last time.

After wearing so many masks, it feels good to finally be myself again.

~ Slapperfish >*)))>{

P.S. For those of you contributing to CAP that have been with the project for less than five years, just don't even bother anymore. The system is heavily weighted towards those who have been with it the longest, and any success you do find here is merely a flash in the pan. Save your artistic endeavors for a community that will actually do something with your work, rather than feign interest and toss you aside to set its veterans on a pedestal. Take it from someone who was with the project for six years.
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