Autotyping: ACP’s Controversial Recruiting Program, The Backlash, and The Council’s Declaration

REMINDER: Don’t forget about the Champions Cup battles today!

This is Part 2 of a three part series on the complete history of autotyping in Club Penguin Armies. To read Part 1, “Person1233, The Anti-Bot Bill, and the Birth of a Controversy”, click HERE.

The year 2012 was a chaotic period for Club Penguin Armies. Long gone were the days of steady leaderships, huge sizes, fun wars, and easy recruiting. The Black Alliance movement had ushered in a new era of warfare marred by hate-fueled conflicts, tumultuous leadership changes, and an overall breakdown of the rules and ethics employed by the armies of past generations. In an era where everyone began pushing the boundaries of what was “fair”, armies struggled to maintain stability and avoid conflict. But in the pursuit of innovative new techniques, some armies went one step too far. In the case that will be the focus of this week’s edition, this army was caught violating its own personal code of ethics, reigniting an old controversy and creating a backlash of epic proportions.

ACP’s Controversial Recruiting Program

In 2012, the Army of Club Penguin saw a wave of change brought forth by the retirement of leaders Flipper7706 and Kenneth1000, the longest-serving leaders in the history of the army with the exception of the creator Oagalthorp. Their leadership was remarkable in its consistency, despite facing some of the greatest opposition the army had yet seen, in wars with familiar foes, as well as a new threat known as the Black Alliance. They had successfully disposed of all of them while retaining 1st in the Top Ten for an incredible 85% of their 66-week leadership.

After a brief period of leadership by returning ACP Leader Icey Cold27 aka Mchappy, Kingfunks4 had taken over in August of 2012. Just a few weeks into his leadership, Funks had left for a vacation, and in his absence, ACP fell to 6th in the Top Ten, the first time in the army’s history that it had fallen outside of the Top 3. Retired leaders intervened, removing Funks and replacing him with Ekpenguin9. But Ek could not prevent the historic collapse that was to follow, as ACP’s Top Ten position continued to plummet. He would retire in late November having led ACP to an average placement of 5th. At this point, Kingfunks4 had returned, and a duo leadership was established with Antant98. All members of the ACP leadership knew that serious action was necessary to pull the army out of its decline. The ACP Recruiting Regiment was born.

On the morning of December 9, 2012, Pirates Leader Waterkid100 and the Pirates Intelligence Agency blew the lid off of what would come to be one of the biggest stories of the year. The ACP Recruiting Regiment, brainchild of newly appointed 3rd in Command Snaily5 and ACP Leader Antant98, was using “bots” to recruit.

The first screenshot leaked, showing ACP discussing bot usage on the ACP Recruiting Regiment chat (additional evidence was lost when CPAC moved back from being self-hosted)

The scandal, which was referred to as “Botgate” by CPAC, quickly spread throughout the army community. ACP chat dissolved into chaos, as soldiers of the army that always took a hard-line stance against botting discovered that the leaders had begun doing that very thing. The ACP leadership went into damage control.

The Backlash

While having been caught of essentially the same type of controversy as Nachos Leader Person1233 in 2009, the backlash against ACP was far greater. ACP had always maintained a clean reputation and denounced other armies’ behavior so often they were often referred to as the “world police”. This scandal was highly uncharacteristic and everyone knew it. This made it a much bigger deal to most people than if it had been an army who had already been caught up in previous botting scandals, such as the Golden Troops and Nachos.

CPAC CEO Bluesockwa2 expresses his cynical disbelief at the actions of the ACP leadership

ACP 2nd in Command Splashy56 similarly expresses his frustration with the ACP leaders implementation of a program that contradicted the army’s historical position on the matter of bots

Within ACP, there were serious talks of forcing the removal of Kingfunks4 and Antant98, and the actions of the ACPRR had been openly criticized by a number of retired ACP Leaders. Statements were made by some of those involved that gave greater insight into the goings-on of the program.

Superoo13, an ACP mod rank, issued the following statement in regards to his involvement in making the bots:

I had no idea that Ant wanted to use these bots for recruiting, until he asked for them to be in green. I had my doubts when he told me he would use them for recruiting, but being somebody looking for a 3ic Position in ACP, I wasn’t going to say no.

Just to clear it up, ACPRR recruited with bots for 2 days and I believe Funks, Antant, Obama and Snaily were the ones who were mainly in control. I did not actually USE my bots on CP, because I had to go before I could even start making the penguins green. ACP has NOT used bots in battle, neither have I used the bots in CP Armies.

The program had been caught in its infancy, just 2 days after it was created. Superoo sought to make clear that the bots were used solely for recruiting and never came into play during any of ACP’s battles. He also stated that ACP’s leaders were among those in direct control of them.

The community-wide scrutiny was intense, but nowhere more so than within ACP itself. The soldiers, to their credit, held their own army to an extremely high standard, and a very public “Boo4Bots” campaign was started to send a clear message to the leaders that their behavior was unacceptable. By this measure, the ACP soldiers forced the immediate shut down of the program and deletion of the corresponding website. Antant98 then took to the ACP website to issue a statement on behalf of both himself and Kingfunks4.

The post was titled “Life is Filled with Mistakes, But We All Learn and Accept from It in Order to Move On” and served as both an apology and a clarification of what the program was intended to do.

An excerpt from the post is below:

Yeah, we admit that I did use bots to recruit. We only did it to help ACP get more recruits, and we took the wrong path by doing this. Our actions were wrong, but we realized our mistake and have accepted that we’ve done it, which was really wrong. We know most of you all hate us, and we can’t blame you, as we would have the same feelings as you if we were in your position, but please try to see our motivations.

[…]

I have officially shut own ACPRR and will focus on clean and fair recruiting strategies. I cannot do it without your help and I hope you can all forgive me of what I have done, and have trust and faith towards me in order for us to break the chain and make ACP rise and prosper.

The reception of Antant’s post was largely positive from the ACP soldiers and retirees, however the best insight on the scandal was yet to come. In an interview with CPAC not long afterwards, ACP 2nd in Command Swimmerboy01 spoke to Bluesockwa1 about the impact that using bots to recruit could have on the community.

It’s over and done, Ant and Funks feel bad about the ordeal and will never do it again. Now, with other armies, I do not know. It’s the nuclear war scenario. One nation starts using nuclear arms on another, and then all nations start using nuclear arms until the entire world is destroyed.

A prophecy of the recruiting landscape yet to come perhaps?

The Council’s Declaration

The Club Penguin Army Council had made its return to the community just weeks before the scandal broke in a last-ditch attempt to clean up the aftermath of the Black Alliance wars. Rules had been disregarded so thoroughly that many people could not even agree on what they were. Reform was desperately needed, and thus, the community had called for the return of The Council under the guidance of Boomer 20. The second generation Council had been granted significantly expanded powers, and while not everyone liked the idea of one individual wielding so much power, it was a risk they were willing to take. Boomer’s first act under the new Council was to establish a Global Ceasefire agreement, with reasoning outlined as follows:

This ceasefire would, in theory, calm the chaos that has swept nearly all armies into a pair of major wars. This ceasefire is intended to provide armies with the ability to meet and discuss the problems we face as a community, including the very-real possibility that we may not be around as long as we thought. We have gone far too long without addressing the serious issues we face, and we must take the time this winter break to fix a deteriorating system.

Only a day after the signing of this crucial community-wide ceasefire, the ACP scandal hit the media. Many called on The Council to make a statement, as it was now acting as the authoritative body on such matters. ACP was far from the only army swept up in a botting scandal in the weeks preceding, as both the Dark Warriors and the Nachos stood accused of raiding major battles with bots prior to the ceasefire. But it was the ever-polarizing ACP’s backlash that forced the ultimatum.

The Council’s official statement on bot use in Club Penguin Armies

This statement was groundbreaking in that it was now an officially established ruling that the use of bots (and autotypers), even for recruiting, was explicitly forbidden by the Anti-Hacking Bill, and the Anti-Hacking Bill would be formally enforced by an independent body for the first time. Four major armies received warnings to cease their bot usage: ACP, AR, DW, and the Nachos, and a precedent was set that being caught using bots in any form would cause an army to be suspended from all CPAC-sponsored activies, including the Top Ten, for a pre-established period of time.

This time, there was no debate. Unlike Person1233’s autotyping scandal in 2009, no one was advocating for the use of bots for recruiting anymore. The fact that it had been ACP who was caught rallied all of their enemies against the practice altogether, and ACP’s own soldiers forced the shut down of the program from within. The Council’s forceful ruling had effectively snuffed out the last remaining sentiment of the practice of bot recruiting and autotyping in the community.

Boomer 20 stepped down as Leader of The Council a little over a month later in January 2013, having achieved a remarkable amount of reform in a very short period of time, including the representation of every prominent major and medium army in community policies, a complete Club Penguin Army rulebook, a massive overhaul of the community-wide server ownership system, and an effective battle judgment process that managed to survive yet another Black Alliance war.

But without Boomer at the helm, The Council struggled to maintain the trust of the community and eventually shut down less than a month later. And while its governing body could no longer oversee the Club Penguin Army community, The Council’s policies on matters including bot use and autotyping held firm. That is, until the return of a rebellious outsider would come to resurrect the controversy one last time.

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With the benefit of hindsight, how should ACP’s bot recruiting scandal perceived today? Were the ACP leaders the first since the Nachos to pioneer an innovative recruiting strategy, or were they and others exploiting the lack of rules for unfair gain? Though the policies may not have changed, bot recruiting and autotyping has gone from being explicitly banned to being widely accepted – and in many cases – required. Which era got it right? Stay tuned for the conclusion of this three part series on autotyping next Saturday with…

Elmikey, the Secret Recruiting Renaissance, and the Ultimate Acceptance of Autotyping

~Boomer

24 Responses

  1. first (i think)

    k, now to read the post…

    Like

  2. What’s the big deal of using bots for recruiting? It’s not cheating, it just says that the other ways of recruiting are not working. Why is everyone making a big deal out of nothing?

    Next philosophy: Should everyone freak out over nothing?!

    Who wants that on SMAP? ^^^^

    Like

  3. I’m not saying I use bots, but it’s just an extra strategy- it’s like getting punished for using a calculator for the math question: 465 divided by 57,483. Or it’s like being punished for wearing jeans on a summer day (I’ve seen people do that) or it’s like being punished for speaking your opinions on CPAC. Plus, if someone is banished from cp armies and they’re still in the armies, WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO THEN, HM? HOW CAN YOU ENFORCE THAT RULE? SENDING OUT HACKERS TO DDOS THE RULE-BREAKERS? Otherwise, your claim of ban-forever-from-armies is very controversial. Tell me, Blue1/Blue2, how do you plan to enforce this?

    Boomer: What are you even talking about? This is something that happened 2 years ago

    Like

  4. Me? I recruit by means of using social media such as youtube.

    Like

  5. obv

    Like

  6. ACP’s fall would have been much worse had AR not stuck with them for so long. We set out against an entire community to try and keep them alive. At one point, they offered me a 3ic position which I took for 12 hours before deciding my duties belonged with AR.

    And after all that I’m still ‘ineligible’ for moderator at their chat despite the fact that I meet the qualifications. Those fuckers deserve to burn. 👿

    Like

    • “Four major armies received warnings to cease their bot usage: ACP, AR, DW, and the Nachos…”

      Also, AR never received this warning and we never used bots either. Around the time that this method of recruitment was taking place, we only chat recruited.

      Like

  7. can we have something that actually is worth reading on this site….

    Like

  8. And just like that, ACP’s clean reputation has been forever ruined.

    Good post, Boomer.

    Boomer: If it wasn’t ruined the first time in 2012, why would it be ruined now when basically everyone is doing these same things now? xP

    Like

  9. tl;tr, good post.

    Like

  10. woo I somehow got in the news again.

    Like

  11. Basically me up to the 2 minute mark.

    Like

  12. After the Elmikey post, one should be made about the ACPRF and Triumvirate era.

    Like

  13. Ayyyyy, Lewis is in this [as Splashy].

    Like

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