Ah, April 1, 2001! The first day of the new millennium dedicated to full-scale tomfoolery! How could we not commemorate it?

After queries went out among the editors and gods, suggestions for a few pranks started filtering in. N-Wing came up with some great ideas for reversing the text in writeups and converting them to 1337-speek, but I must take full blame for the concept of the now-infamous April Trolls episode: editors and gods created new troll accounts and on April 1, server time, began indulging in the worst possible newbie/troll behavior. I myself made several appearances as sloppyjoe, a high school kid who thought he was a genius and yet couldn't manage to figure out hardlinking, private messages, or proper spelling.

Numerous poorly written and inflammatory nodes quickly filled up the New Writeups box as the Chatterbox was flooded with the best and most mindless inanity we could dream up -- everything from 1337 speak to AOL speak to... some kinds of speak I didn't even recognize. A new noder named "I_OWnz_yEW" mysteriously shot to the top of the Other Users nodelet. Chaos reigned...

Rumors circulated that E2 had been hacked by nefarious enemies, bent on destroying the database once and for all. Sensing a new dimension to the prank, we editors suddenly "discovered" that our powers didn't work and that the EDB had gotten off its leash... Many noders bought into the scam lock, stock and barrel -- some even started talking about calling the FBI to track down the crackers. Other noders sensed a prank was going on, but couldn't be sure...

Inspired by the antics of another god, I even slapped together a webpage for sloppyjoe -- an enthusiastic and contentless page extolling the glories of himself, geniuses, and Star Trek. Later, E2 was treated to the spectacle of Jet-Poop and sloppyjoe engaging in a furious argument in the Chatterbox -- a feat I don't recommend for everyone, 'cause it made me feel a bit schizophrenic...

I received a number of /msg's from concerned and frustrated noders, including ephealy, Seven_, Wigs, Tauress, TrbleClef, Jurph, wukong888, and anemotis. Even with a newbie as clueless and as utterly without content as I was, they worked hard to try to direct me to the FAQ and to teach me how to use the Chatterbox correctly. Seriously, they're a credit to E2, and I'm blessing them with a few dozen XP as soon as I get this noded. Kudos, gang. In fact, kudos to all of you -- I've never seen so much concern for the database and such thoughtful musing about the future of E2. Youse guys are great. :)

In the end, we ended the prank a bit early, due to a combination of concern for the noders who were really very angry that E2 had been h4xx0red and concern for our own frazzled nerves -- at times, it was like someone had dosed us with really bad acid. The work of the troll noders is being deleted as we speak -- never let it be said that we don't clean up our own messes. Some of you are angry, and we understand, but we'd like to make sure you realize that we were just trying to have some fun and that nothing like this is ever going to happen again...

And if we think of doing any pranks next year -- kick us. Hard.
Oh, no! It's "Come Clean" time!

I was the evil H4X0r named I_0WnZ_yEw. I tried my best not to write inflammatory stuff to other noders, but I kept going on about how a AOL could hack this place. Instead of noding trollish stuff, I just captured all the text on one screen and posted it under many different node titles. Thanks to someone who has some additional powers, IOU the 'L33t Hacker ended up with 2.2 million XP, which shot him to the top of the Everything's Best Users list.

When I appeared as good old reliable Rancid_Pickle, I had someone borge me so IOU could take the credit. Actually, everything that happened IOU took credit for. When E2 slowed down because of bandwidth, IOU took credit for it by saying he started searching for the letter "e" in the database. When the editors said they lost editor powers and could not delete the troll writeups, IOU said it was his handiwork.

Now, for some funny items. There were many folks who /msg'd poor old I_0WnZ_yEw and told him what they thought of him. Straight from the chatterbox comes these fresh messages:

  • JyZude says dude, you suck. Sent three times.
  • Jurph says Get Bent, Script Kiddie. You've got the brains God gave a retarded walrus... and the walrus wants to trade back. Jurph, once I asked how to get rid of the messages with the checkboxes, tried valiantly to flood me with that message. Kudos for defending E2 as best as he could!
  • Jurph says Instant Karma's Gonna Get You... Gonna slap you right in the face. Better get your (lame) sh*t together... join the human race (you fScking troll). And we all shine on...XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXx I modified the explicatives :)
  • Jurph says What's a matter? Can't figure out how to link to sh*t? What a great and mighty h4x0r you are. You should be r00t. O, wait, you're a fScking impotent maladroit monkeynut.
  • Jurph says Wow. You really are totally fScking clueless here, aren't you? You're nothign more than a newbie with god powers... and you don't even know how to use them. Go back to Diablo II, where cheating is more fun. I would guess that Jurph was quite taken in by IOU's ruse.
  • jesicapierce says I am in secret communication w/ (name withheld) - i have him convinced we are going to crack the Fed next - he wants to help. I told him you are my so - he wants to know our group name. MAKE ONE UP QUICK HAHA and make it DUMB. I made up Elite 0Wnerz Colective (with that spelling error).
  • jesicapierce says Damn you are good - i told him to watch the news for us next week - and I am referring to you as "Bert" - your real name isnt Bert is it? Nope, it's not Bert, or Ernie for that matter :)
  • The numerous folks who kept up the "Oh, my, our powers are gone, we were hacked" routine. Special kudos to Dannye with his appending everything he said with redboot, and saying someone had modified the code so he couldn't borg anyone. The straight-man did an excellent job of being the foil.
I hope you had fun, or can at least look back and laugh about it now.

Remember, we L000VE all y'all.

If you're upset about the goings-on, please dismiss it as a "blowing off steam" incident. Remember, the Editors and Gods volunteer to go through the database daily and cull out the bad writeups, some right up there with the stuff posted today. We don't get paid, we do it because this place is worth donating time and reading through 20 one-liners to get to the one gem. Give us this day our daily prank, and we will be renewed in our mission to keep E2 worth visiting daily. Honest :)

"Ha! You couldn't fool your mother on the foolingest day of your life if you had an electrified fooling machine"
- Homer Simpson to Bart Simpson.

"It's a thin line between comedy and a hostage situation"
- Rich Hall

Now that, I've had a chance to sleep,I realise that this whole episode was rather hysterical. I admit, I was really suckered in. I even changed my password in fear (to "fuckyouhacker"). I think I only got an inkling when the troll largo said "gotta go,my parents are unplugging my 'pooter".

Let's consider what we've learned:

Now let's never speak of it again.*

*Unless of course, Bones is giving out to you for your new Vegetables that I have had in my ass node. Then fell free to say, "yeah, well where were you on April Fool's Day?!?!?"

What isn't hilarious is the way that some of the editors and Gods handled the response to this. A couple apologised and listend to people's conerns. But some decided to laregly ignore the feeling of the average Joq Q. Noder, told them to get over it and thenm unleashed the EDB when they got annoyed. I'm sure there will be millions of flames noded then quickly nuked on this topic. I just want to take this little corner of the nodgel to say:

I'm really disappointed.

Well, good one. I was convinced it was a joke, until some well meaning fellow noders, many of whom were probably in on the joke, started getting me to doubt. Actually, the most doubt came from wondering if even the gods would stoop so low as to deface E2 like this. It was a bit questionable, I feel bad for the newbie noders who we may never see again.

But alas, hindsight is 20/20 and there was much reason to doubt.

  • It all started as the E2 clock hit April 1. Coincidence?
  • Many of the "hackers" had names that were plays on respected noders. A hacker probably wouldn't take the time to get to know the community and figure out what high profile noders would make the best names to parody.
  • There was an unusual lack of gods around. Coincidence?
  • dannye was not the least bit concerned, making rather humorous comments such as "borg does not end with an e, I'm afraid we cannot fulfill your request until your properly spell it." (I'm going from memory here). dannye does not strike me as the type of guy to joke around during a troll invasion...
  • The editor powers were disabled when it all started. Coincidence? I figured they were either in on the joke and lying about it, or the gods were pulling one over the editors. Either way, it seemed way too much of a coincidence.
  • There was no real damage done. All that really happened were stupid writeups and catbox comments. If the site had really been hacked, my guess is they would have done much more damaging things, such as cursing people, hacking the front page, mass deleting of writeups, etc.

My final thought on this prank was to wonder what would have happened if a group of users had gotten together and planned this prank. Would the editors and gods have laughed and let it go on, or would they have started nuking and killing accounts? I'm willing to bet it's the latter.

I was disturbed, disgusted, and frightened.

Having participated on websites that have been the targets of trolls, sockpuppets, and nastiness, I could not see the humor in it.

I'll get over it, but I think the Gods should apologize to those of us who were afraid that their special place was gone forever. There's a note about DMan that says (I paraphrase) "He made E2 a darker, less friendly place, put blood in the water theme, made trolling more common."

Last night, the Gods did the same thing.

I'll live. I'll keep noding, keep chatting, keep expanding and improving my homenode. But when real trolls come in, when the gates need to be guarded and the molten lead poured down the battlements, there is going to be a little less trust in our leader's judgement, a little hesitation in the Hierarchy of Angels.

I do still have enough trust in the benevolence of the Gods to speak out against what they did. If I did not, I would not be here. I would simply become another nodeless usershell.
On sumbit, my writeup was translated into 1337sp34k. Thanks a lot.
It's not that I don't think the Gods will be able to deal with trolls and hackers in the future. It's that the people will be a little slower to react. The Citizen Militia of Everything2 has been cried wolf to.
Like I said, I will get over it, as will we all. Someday, this will be funny. Maybe even someday soon. But today? I wonder if there are a few good people who will not come back.

In regards to Gamaliel -- I have high respect for you, as you and others probably know. I consider you a mentor, and your statements have the same weight to me as Dannye's. One statement in your w/u encapsulates, to me, what went wrong with the prank. "...the mere presence of Stile was enough to mix things up a bit and strike fear into the hearts of the newbies.....". When I was new here, I was scared anyway, hoping for approval, creating pathetic nodes about noding, whining in the Cbox, being a newbie. If last night had been my first time here, I wouldn't have come back, and I feel both I and E2 would be poorer for the experience.

I don't deny that the Heirarchy needed to blow off some steam. Let me make a suggestion. Next year, invade /. or The Stile Project, or someplace that deserves it.

I'm strting to feel bettar about it already.
Yes, the fact that I fell for it hook line and sinker did add to my rush of negative emotions. Big news here, nobody likes to be the butt of the joke.

1'11 g3t 0v3r 1t.

It's the morning after the madness and I have the emotional equivalent of a hangover. And I feel as if I owe plenty of people apologies and trust there will be copious mea culpas and breast-beating all-around, but that comes later. Right now I'm going to admit a dirty little secret, I had fun. You see, I'd had a pretty terrible week and desperately needed to blow off so steam and a little duplicity goes a long way in helping that.

I was Sophanda Peters.

My initial idea was to imitate the writing style of certain High School Students who reveal entirely too much about themselves on the web in a semi-literate manner. I actually spent several days preparing my character, perusing the entries at diaryland.com and deciding whether or not she'd abbreviate 'u' to you before coming up with a truly obnoxious stream-of-consciousness writing style that mimicked the speech patterns of the "bad" girls I knew in High School. I did not stop there; I gave my character a real name (Amber), slapped together a terrible webpage and gave her a hotmail address then created notes on her background and history to make sure that I did not give contradictory information in any of her writeups. Although most of her writeups were winged, quite a few were created as early as three days in advance including "why you shouldn't give head on a black sofa". And I will admit, it was fun to play this nearly mindless vulgar little bimbette.

And the first wave of the prank was fun. A little chaos after spending so much time imposing order was a nice way to let off some steam. And being in on the entire prank, I was able to see how cunnningly crafted some of the Editor-trolls were, although many were loud and in-your-face some were quiet and disturbingly clever. And the Editors and Gods played straight men shockingly well and Dis even went so far as to set himself up as the scapegoat for the entire thing. Hypotheses popped up as to what was really behind this ranging from it being a huge joke played on the Content Editors by the Gods to it being an actual invasion by Stile and company again to it being just an unfortunate result of our being slashdottted.

At first, the chaos was amusing and I enjoyed watching people guess what was really behind the insanity, but then it stopped being fun. It stopped being fun when people were actually getting panicked. It stopped being fun when users became offended and upset. It stopped being fun when people I consider friends came to me for answers and for the sake of the gag I purposely provided misdirection and outright lies. To those people, I apologize profusely, I have always considered myself a dependable guy but understand if you people have trouble trusting me after this.

In the end, I hope that no one was seriously hurt or offended or angered by this. There was no real malice intended. We just meant to have a little fun and did not realize that the "fun" would get so out of hand. The revels are over and we have taken off our masks and gone back to the task of cleaning up the mess we have made. Our only hope is that you will not begrudge us our night of madness.

I first the noticed the pranks when Azure Monk, on IRC, said "Hey, why the hell is The Gallic Wars written in l33t?" I didn't see the l33t when I opened up the writeup, so I clicked through a few others and saw the other text filters, and then I saw the server time:
00:05 Sun Apr 1 2001

Next, the node I H4XX0RED E2!! appeared, posted by user "HA4pr1HA", so I posted a reponse explaining my obsverations to date. I updated the writeup periodically throughout the night.

Well, clearly this was some of sort of April Fools day joke, and it was more elaborate than I had thought. The trolling started with largo, Sophanda Peters, and JayStile. Now, I don't know everyone E2 so I assume that maybe they were newbieish users, which would make sense considering the Slashdot article a while ago. But that so many clueless newbies would show up all at once and spew such garbage? Hmph.

I went to #everything and found Infinite Burn concocting ways to join in the mayhem, including his own troll node idea, I didn't do it. I posted a suggestive message hinting that maybe I was involved in the chaos. At this point I was fairly sure that either someone purposely being a troll, or 3 or 4 IQ-challenged friends has stumbled upon E2. The alleged loss of editor powers seemed to be the missing link, though. I guess I should have suspected, at that point, that something was amiss. Truly, though, my first notion was that it was bunch of E2 regulars having fun at everyone's expense. I honestly never suspected to the editorship of E2 would stoop that low. I guess I know better now.

As the evening progressed, noders who were not in on the gag in #everything began to suspect a hack. People were getting frustrated and worried. Many fully believed that it was not at all a prank and that E2 had really been broken into by some semi-competent hackers.

I peronally know how such people work, and E2 is high-profile enough that someone might have deemed it worth their time. The people really DID seem to have a deeper understanding of E2 than most would, and as such I suspected that maybe they had just spent a week or two browsing and understood the concepts behind it.

I went to sleep around 1:30 AM EDT thinking that E2 had been hacked, to some extent, and that hopefully order would be restored by morning. Indeed it was, and only then did some of the editors break the news that everything, from the changing of the XP to the near-panic of some users, had been part of the prank

I would agree that it went too far, and some people got a seriously misfigured idea of E2. But things like this build character, and I think E2 will be better off having lived through this.

My God, this was the most fun I’ve had in a long time.

Perhaps you think I need to get out more.

To all of you who objected to this, especially those who objected on behalf of other hypothetical objectors, please lighten up. It was all in good fun. Nobody got hurt, nobody died. We will clean up our mess, give our explanations and apologies, and we will get back to the serious business of wasting our leisure time in a serious manner. Please don’t worry so much, people are not as fragile as you think.

To any of you who were offended by this, I’m sorry. I’ve even heard a rumor about a threatened lawsuit. But this was April Fools Day after all, and if you were in tears about a web site prank, you might start saving your pennies to buy a sensory deprivation chamber for next April. Look, I love E2 as much as, probably more than, you do. I’m sorry if you feel used and/or abused by the gods and editors, but we’re entitled to a little fun once a year for all the culling and troll prevention we do. If it wasn’t for us, every day would be like April Fools Day. E2 would be Slashdot. Or The Stile Project.

With that said, kudos to those noders who valiantly and vainly attempted to stem the tide of insanity in the absence of editors by trying to contact E2 gods or reasoning with trolls or whatever they tried to do. With that kind of dedication, you’ll replace me in no time.

My God, I didn’t think this was actually going to work, but it did, and brilliantly. I think the key was twofold: one, that a large group of people were in on it, and two, they all went off in their own directions, so the sheer, uncoordinated chaos prevented people from fingering the culprits and convinced them that it could not have possibly been an organized conspiracy, at least not totally.

We all knew who was who, but that was all we knew. Nobody knew exactly what anyone was going to pull, and in the confusion some of us lost track of who exactly was in on it and who wasn’t. Despite this, we all managed to pull together and play off each other’s pranks. All (as far as I could tell) of the editors claimed they lost the power to kill, a lie that spontaneously formed with no collusion as far as I knew. Many of us appeared in the chatterbox or on #everything wondering what was going on at the same time our trolls were tearing the roof off.

Some individual achievements: There were N-Wing’s tricks with the server and dannye (acting like himself) and jessicapierce (acting like bizarro jessicapierce) in the chatterbox. Even Dman made a few appearances. I was especially impressed with Sylvar and Evil Catullus, who created consistent, realistic, believable characters during their trolling. And prize for best troll name should go to MOM_OF_GORTICIAN

All this chaos had people speculating on just about everything. dannye claimed that dem bones had sold e2 for ONE MILLION DOLLARS. Some people thought we were being invaded by Slashdot or The Stile Project. Others combined conspiracy theories and thought that a prank by the e2 gods was compounded by an invasion of trolls, perhaps taking advantage of security vulnerabilities created by changing code. Some thought Dman was back to exact revenge, perhaps teaming up with JayStile.

I might as well confess, since we’ll probably release the list of who’s who anyway, I was JayStile. As Jet-Poop said, be afraid, be very afraid. I didn’t do anything inspired, or even interesting with the nodes I created, but the mere presence of Stile was enough to mix things up a bit and strike fear into the hearts of the newbies. When people pointed out that Stile already had an account or that he probably wasn’t the real thing, JayStile reminded them that last time he was here, people doubted he was real then too. When I said something in the chatterbox, people on #everything immediately quoted me, so I cut and pasted large chunks of irc conversation and posted them to E2 just to fuck with them.

I was warned about using the name of a real person to troll, but I decided to do it anyway. He is a public figure, and he’s an asshole, and he sent dozens of trolls over here in an attempt to screw with E2 after we downvoted a couple of his crap nodes. So fuck him. And Dman has earned every minute of abuse he’s gotten, and he’s still bitching about and slandering and lying about E2 on Slashdot this very minute, so many months after his forced departure for continually abusing noders. So fuck him too.

And for those of you who feel angry at being suckered, or who have lost respect for E2 or me personally, all I can say is I’m sorry. We are not homophobes, sexists, or racists. Please lighten up, it was all just a joke. E2 does really love you. Well, at least the EDB does…
Wonko, I had a troll node at -36! So there. :P

Equal time dept. Dman responds via irc: "nice little bitch on the April Troll's node. you probably accepted bones' whine on my home node hook, line and sinker. it's great to see how you people are still ready to feed my E2 corpse to the vultures. pretty pathetic. to end this, fuck you too."

Eponymous: I don’t know what to say. Yours is the only objection I haven’t dismissed, and it’s the only one that hits home. All I can do is apologize again. Remember that authority figures are people like everyone else, just with a little more responsibility and experience, and ideally wisdom, than the people under them. We might have acted terribly irresponsible last night, but we can be stupid and juvenile and fun-loving and irresponsible just like anyone else. I had the time of my life, and I won’t apologize for that, but if your respect for me and the other editors and gods has dimmed, I’m not sure what we can do to change that. If we fucked up today, please try to judge us by what we manage to accomplish on the other 364 days of the year. And to you and everyone who objected, we might not agree with your gripes, but we do notice that you care enough about E2 to complain about it so strongly. Thanks for sticking around.

How many times can one cry wolf on E2?

Once, apparently.

Last night, I was finishing my income tax return, and decided to pop over to E2 for a breather. It was just after 0000 UTC. I was surprised by what I saw. Trolls up the wazoo. I didn't need this, and went back to the taxes, but left an mIRC window in #everything open.

A bit later, two hours or so, I was done, and decided to take a look at it again. It looked bad. Then something told me that it was too neatly done. Every single user's last login date was on July 2, 2001. Why, in the world, would HAX0R5 do that? So I used my edev cilia, and within two minutes, discovered that the Content Editors and Gods had not hid their plans well. Normal users wouldn't see much even if they found the planning area, but edevites will find that node quite...interesting, when the proper tools are applied.

I chatted with chromatic a bit about it. I saw that some elements of The Power Structure of Everything 2 were getting to blow off steam (which they could use, I was aware -- plenty of sewage flows through these hallowed walls on a daily basis), and began ensuring I had put my returns together properly. I looked up at #everything and realized, instantly, that there would be a backlash. I thought about revealing the truth, but decided the damage was already done, and that those in on the prank may as well get their full money's worth from it. Of course, if things were different, would the prank ever have happened?

April 2, 2001: It appears some higher-up unveiled their previously-veiled plans at Suggestions for E2 April Fools Pranks. Learn how it all got started.
Later: It's gone now. So much for that. Oceania have always been at war with Eastasia. Or perhaps not. Updates may appear later.

Well, I, for one, thought that last night was hilarious. Many of you may not give a whit, but hey; you're welcome to your opinion. I think the reason so many people are offended is because they fell for it. Plain and simple. I mean, come on. There are already a few writeups in this node that express something akin to moral outrage, and have stated that, after last nights debauchery, they will have a snide retort for the gods/editors when we're told to act responsibly.

Can anyone say: "out of proportion?" Come on..say it..I know you can.

I understand that everything2 is a community, and, as it is populated by the online personas of humans, it exhibits some of the flaws of humanity. Because of that, we try and instill some sense of morals -- the proper way of going about life on e2. That's good. That's important. We need standards. But to say that the gods and editors have lost our faith because they pulled an April Fool's joke is crazy.

Think about it.

Would the gods just sit there while evil haxors invaded our site. Would dannye just sit there, complacently, while utter chaos reigned? If anything, I could see how someone might be upset because they wanted to get some noding done. I know I did, but I also think that a night without noding is not the end of the world. Especially if it's a result of a prank. The fact that we're a community means that we also have fun together. Personally, I think it's important that the gods and editors involved have stated that it was a joke. I don't think they really needed to apologize, but hey; it can't hurt.

I'm not going to think less of Evil Catullus or Rancid Pickle because they played a prank. To tell you the truth, I wasn't sure what was going on last night. Either way, it was funny. If it was a joke, then all would be well in the morning. If it wasn't, all would still be well. Fine. The editors have to nuke a bunch of users and writeups. Wow. Not the end of the world. If you just sat back and read the catbox comments, instead of running around like a chicken with its head cut off, you'd have enjoyed yourself a lot more.

If you're mad that DMan and Stile were made to seem responsible, well, I don't know what to say. It sounds like you want to be mad, and you're just going to be mad no matter what. It was a prank; you fell for it. Get on with life. To avoid this problem in the future, the gods and editors may now blame everything on me. I don't mind, and I even preemptively forgive them. Now there's nothing to bitch about, and we can all have a good laugh, and get on with life. We need some laughs. Especially the ones that pulled the prank. I'm sure it was fun as heck for you guys, and I can see why.


P.S.: I can laugh at myself, and I think you all should too. I'm glad we're having an Oprah style, "get in touch with your feeling after the incident" conversation in this node. That's important, because we all have to focus our energy, and stop being passive acceptors. I learned that in group last week, so there :P
I must admit that I was taken in by this prank, but only for about half an hour. Once I realized the server had flipped and suddenly there were 20+ newbie trolls cavorting around and spewing intellectual sewage into the catbox, the rest kinda fell into place. Besides, I hardly believe that anyone would C! some of the stuff that ended up on the front page.

This is not to say that I'm boasting or anything. While the prank was funny—I giggled like a little German schoolgirl reading catbox messages from Sophana Peters and sloppyjoe—it was only entertaining for about an hour. I dunno, I'm sure everyone involved had a grand old time, and I admit I felt like creating an alter-ego and jumping into the fray myself, but after the hours of trolls, and some of the users still not understanding what was going on, it started to get old very quick. Eventually I became semi-disgusted and logged off.

I'm sorry if my sense of humor was taxed, but a joke told a hundred times looses a bit of its gloss.

Update: It was hilarious watching users think they were gaining XP from punch thyself, though.
Update #2: I laughed at Demeter's FwuffyBunny website for a good ten minutes.

OK, I admit: I'm the one who talked to the jesicapierce troll, and whose name Rancid_Pickle tactfully removed from his writeup in this node :)

I'm a complete newbie, I had created my account just a few hours before, and was reading the Everything FAQ when all hell broke lose. First it was funny, especially with EBD eating the editors, but when I_0WnZ_yEw suddenly got a few million XP and noders got angry, the situation looked more and more grim. I was about 75% sure the trolls were real.

When Jurph asked to flood the trolls with msgs, I send a few "hello world" msgs to various trolls, and a tad later I noticed jesicapierce had actually replied. After some hesitation, I decided to try some social engineering on her/him/it (wasn't quite sure) to see if I could get a tidbit of usefull info out of it. I've never done that before, so I didn't try to push too hard. Of course I copy-pasted everything to a log.

After things cooled down, I asked Jet-Poop, the first god I saw, what to do with the file. He suggested sending it to Dem bones, but asked to wait till it was clear if the cracking was real, as "Bones probably has enough to worry about right now...". By now we all know it was a prank, so I'm glad I controlled my urge to hit the send button and go to sleep (I had been awake for way too long and I wanted get rid of the responsibility, in the unprobable case that the file was usefull...)

Afterwards jessicapierce (the real one who had played the fake one) and I had some laughs about it, and we decided we could as well share our conversation with you all. Everything in italics is a comment by me, to clarify or to show my thoughts.

What happened before: I send an "hello world" private message, and some time later I notice two replies, the first was "hello humper" or something like that, and the second was "So you don't want to talk" .

You said "sorry, didn't noticed the private message. Who are you? Do you know largo etc?" to jesicapierce

Largo was the most vocal of the trolls at that moment

jesicapierce says no i dont know largo he is sjust some basterd who is trying to sex talk me up. i gopt here from a link at stile but it is down now have you ben here a long time

You said "no I created my account only a few hours ago. I read the faq etc, about the editors and the gods and the EBD, seemed a very hierarchical thing, and then hacked pages turned up and everyone in the chat started to panic :) It's kindof funn" to jesicapierce

Remember I'm trying to keep the conversation going, of course it's not funny at all when on April 1st, gods lose their powers and scores of editors are eaten by the EBD while trolls scream "WE 0WNZ YOU0UOU!!, wE R00000LzZ!!!" :)

jesicapierce says i dont get it what am i suposed to do on this site. i am here to help someone crack it but i dont get teh concetp

You said "who asked you? didn't they told you what this is?" to jesicapierce

Oh so subtly trying to get some names...

I 0wnz You is my boyfiend ATM but it is like an open relationsheip (really) . he wanted my help cracking it but it is so damn EASY it is ridiculuos, i mean there are like no admins around , they shd have known bad thinegs would happen today!!

You said "so you're part of a cracking group? Did you crack any other websites?" to jesicapierce

If she/he/it mentions a well-known site, maybe we find the name of the group...

jesicapierce says why are youo here do you want to help us hack it

jesicapierce says yeah we are real undergruond right now but trust me the shit is aboput to hit the fan, my boi knows hsi shit. i cant tell you specificsd but i will say it is some big time shit with the Fed but SHH! ok?!

Eeks! Don't want to get too involved in this, ergo:

You said "I've never done any web programming stuff, only C++ and some assembler. Won't be good enough, I suppose?" to jesicapierce

jesicapierce says huh yeah i think we got that stuff covered but it is good to knowe people will back us up if we need it. haev yuio done cracks be4

You said "nope, no experience so far :/" to jesicapierce

At this point I was getting nervous (what if this was a prank and some god was taking note that one Seven_ was interested in cracking?), but I was saved by EBD:

EDB has swallowed jesicapierce
jesicapierce is good food!

you said "the bot has eaten you... now you can't send any messages for some time... just wait

From the reactions of the other noders I was getting more sure this was not a joke, and I was getting tired of being careful

jesicapierce says well that was a pain in the ass. why did that happen

you said "its a bot that randomly eats people. the gods (administrators) can make him eat someone too. BTW you guys have a group name?"

jesicapierce says yeah we do i am makeing sure with bert tht we can tell you

Ahaaaa! Now don't be too hasty...

You said "you don't need to tell if you dont want, i'm just curious how you start to do this etc" to jesicapierce

jesicapierce says well i probably told yopu too much all ready but it is ok i guess, it will have to be

Let's show I'm willing to learn etc.

you said "What do you need to know to hack? Java or perl or any other language?" to jesicapierce

jesicapierce says huh, bert says is ok to tell you we are the l337 OwNz Colective - that is so yuo can find us if you want to, join up or something. just for futur reference . and so yuo will know it is us when it hits the news next week!

Shudder! The l337 OwNz Colective! We can't accuse them of having good taste in naming : )

You said "I'll keep an eye open on slashdot or the register. if it's something big, i'll prolly read it there" to jesicapierce

jesicapierce says specific langauges will always come in handy - it is more importynat that you have intuitive knowledge , like how to intuit a pass word

you said "is that how you got in here? A stupid god using the pasword "GOD" or something ? :D" to jesicapierce

See if we can learn how they broke into E2...

jesicapierce says oh yeah it wil lbe up in /. even if we have to put it there our selves haha!

jesicapierce says ha! no that is not exactly how we got in. but you would not beLIEVE the dumb ass passwords people use her e-= i mean abotu a third of them use their usern ames as theri pass word to

You said ":) I never did that, I always put at least one number in my PW. That makes it much harder, right?" to jesicapierce

jesicapierce says yeah that is a common sense idea that you would be surprised how many people do not do evern that to pretect them selves

Next time I clicked a link I had to wait 5 minutes iso 5 seconds to get the new page!

You said "damn suddenly this site is soooo slow! what are you guys doing?" to jesicapierce

Message in the normal chat box: ( sight sliw = site slow ):

I_0WnZ_yEw: it amazing how you can make a sight sliw by just searching mysql for the letter _e_

jesicapierce says oh and bert says go to www.warpedreality.com or www.attrition.org to learn more

jesicapierce says ahaha JUST THE BEGINNIG OF THE FUN

You said "isn't there a risk that someone will shut the whole server down if you make it dog slow? (or maybe they'll try that anyway...)" to jesicapierce

jesicapierce says there is always a risk but we have backups

Huh? This puzzles me... Do they mean a backup of the password files? Or is it a prank and did the god behind jesicapierce said "we" inadvertently?

You said "backups of what? You can't possibly have downloaded a million node-pages in a few hours right?" to jesicapierce

And here the crossword generator interrupted us. 5 minutes later:

jesicapierce says it just did that for us

Not sure if she means the crossword generator or the backup. After that, I didn't send more messages and some time later jesicapierce was no longer listed.

I can understand that the gods needed to "blow off steam". Sure - I can relate to that. I need to blow off steam, myself, so:

I readily agree that everybody should have realised that this entire dirty affair was arranged with the connivance of the gods. After all, it had to have been.

I realised as much myself....at first. Then, when the insanity went on, I began to have doubts. Would the gods really, truly be behind something as damaging to E2 as this? And, make no mistake, I think this was very damaging.

To a certain extent, the respect given the gods and editors in daily affairs on E2 is based on a healthy awe of their powers within the system. That is the "pragmatic" half of our respect for them. The other half is admiration - a deep-down understanding that these people are doing good work, hard work and sometimes dull work, in the pursuit of making E2 a better place.

After the great April Fool's Day Trollscapade, feeling admiration for the gods and editors is going to be somewhat harder.

So...one has to ask the question of the gods and editors: was this April Foolery really so much fun that it was worth reducing our respect for you from being based in admiration, to being based only on your power?

If it was worth it for you, well and good. I won't harp on it.

But it would seem to be the case, judging from some of the writeups posted above, that this left some of you feeling slightly soiled. Some of you understand that you lied to people who were genuinely concerned, people who cared about E2. You kept the "joke" going for far too long - even after it must have been obvious to you just how much damage you were doing.... and hey, I don't really think it was so funny as to be worth all this anguish.

You behaved childishly - and sure, it is your God-given right to make idiots of yourselves. Just don't expect to be applauded for it.

In the News for Noders section, placed prominently on the front page of E2, dem bones has this to say about trolls:

"E2 does not allow trolls. If you are a troll and are interested in posting here you will have to stop being a troll first. This will be one of the finest decisions you have ever made."
Apparently, this principle does not apply universally.

There, I've blown off my steam. Feel free to disregard this writeup - I'll go back to noding facts, with never another word on this subject. But I don't think I'll ever feel quite the same way about E2, again, or about you - and I don't believe I am alone in this.

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