Neopets Descends Into Chaos: Kid-Friendly Forums Teem With Profanity In 'Neopocalypse'

Neopets
Neopets!!! (c) Neopets

This weekend, forums on Neopets were the liveliest they’ve been in years. The filters on Neopets’ famously strict and vigorously-moderated community boards failed, causing mayhem and anarchy on a site that has a strong reputation for being a kid-friendly zone. Choice forum chaos tidbits include:

Neopets Chaos 01
Chaos. Photo: VIA: Neopets
Neopets Chaos 2
Thought-provoking. Photo: VIA: Neopets
neopets chaos 3
Don't worry bro! Photo: VIA: Neopets
Neopets Chaos 4
Welp. Photo: VIA: Neopets
Neopets Chaos 6
Okayyy... Photo: VIA: Neopets
Neopets Chaos 7
No. Photo: VIA: Neopets

The Neopocalypse, as it's been termed, rendered the forums uninhabitable and decidedly not safe for children. Kotaku received the following statement in response from the Neopets team:

“At some point over the weekend, as a result of a facility move, the Neopets moderation and filter system went off line. During this period, our moderation team was not able to access and appropriately manage the Neopets community and inappropriate comments that were being made. Jumpstart has since taken down the boards and other areas affected as we work to get the moderation teams and filters functioning properly. This was an unfortunate incident due to a facility move related to our servers and not the result of any changes to our moderation teams and we apologize to the users that were affected. We will keep all users updated during the day.

This was not a staffing issue, but a technology issue related to a move in facilities and our servers that control our moderation. Rest assured that we are taking this seriously and putting fail safe solutions in for the future.

Quick update, we have since writing this, reconnected all servers associated with moderation/filtering on Neopets.”

It was widely rumored on various social media sites that the new owners of Neopets had bought their website for a song and had fired what remained of its moderation team. One highly-circulated post stated:

“On March 6th, neopets users awoke to find that a vast majority of staff members had been fired from the neopets Team offices, leaving only a handful of mods to work the boards over the weekend. These were staff members known by name to the userbase and who regularly had contact with them. Many users feel betrayed, and rightly so. Jumpstart staff had largely turned a deaf ear to the complaints directed at them, and users felt their only line of communication that remained at Neopets had been cut off. The first neopets mobile app was released a week later to severely disappointing results. (seriously it’s terrible)

—-

Since March, a steady stream of former staff have been fired one by one, culminating in the removal of Droplet, the editor of the Neopian Times and known for her dedication and love for the site.”

For this reason, many users assumed that the remaining mod team had been fired. But in their statement to Kotaku, the Neopets team took pains to add, “We just want to be clear that no mods were fired, and the issue was in no way related to staffing—rather, it was due to a move in facilities.” 

The fact remains that Neopets has been plagued by problems since its ownership changed from Viacom to JumpStart (and let’s face it—for a while before that). The comments on each post on Neopets’ Facebook page shows how frustrated its long-time community has become.

There’s plenty of other pet sites around. If the new Neopets team continues to let problems like long ticket wait times, broken pet colors and the inability to buy NeoCash or NeoCash items persist, it may find that its dying pet site’s brand value plummets even further than it already has.

At least bring KeyQuest back to the people, JumpStart. 

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