Danny Bakers Internet Treehouse


On Saturday 19th October 2002 we woke to find no Treehouse message board. To many of us, a small part of our world had disappeared.

The board had been removed to prevent further members being approached to contribute to an alternative message board, a board whose contributors were all members of the Treehouse. This is a brief history of the events leading up to, and subsequent to, the board being shut down.

Where to start the story is difficult to say. In hindsight, it is now obvious that a problem had been building up for some time. Sadly, nobody realised how serious some people considered this situation was, and nobody considered contacting the Webmiester to ask him to act. However, with access to the Archive and using documents only from the Public Domain, it is possible to draw the following timeline:-

July 2002

Dead Elrond returns only to resign having spent some time trawling the internet to find personal information regarding another member, and then posting this information to the Treehouse. This was done in response to various anti Liverpool FC comments that had been made by this individual. Numerous people replied to DE's resignation, asking him to stay. In the resignation, DE stated he no longer wished to post to a message board dedicated to Danny Baker, when he could no longer listen to Danny on the radio.

1st September 2002

Dead Elrond requests to be made a moderator. This request is declined, as at the time it was the Webmiester's opinion that there was no need for any additional moderators. Nobody questions this opinion.

4th September 2002

KevS praises the fairness and open-mindedness of the self-moderating Treehouse.

14th September 2002

"Crabstock" occurs, a meeting of Treehouse members organised by Mick McSorely. Everyone agrees that a wonderful weekend was had by all. Attendees were:

  • Mick McSorley
  • Thommo
  • LSD
  • Citizen Jane
  • Stig O'Tracy
  • Andyoafc
  • Fabio
  • Lord Waxwharf
  • Showbiz Eleven
  • Boris the Tonk

Only one of these names will be familiar to anyone who joined the Treehouse after 2nd November 2002.

28th September 2002

Marcus, in amongst one of his (at the time) regular long posts, refers to Jane as "bonny" and looking a bit like a number "8". There are a number of complaints in the thread about this, from mild rebukes to direct complaints.

30th September 2002

Mick McSorley opens a debate as to whether Marcus should be banned from the Treehouse and accuses Hawkeye of posting to the Board under various pseudonyms. The following people side with Marcus being allowed to stay:

  • Alias
  • Mr Bungle
  • Thommo
  • BJ
  • Winged Eel
  • Fink Nottle
  • Freudian Skip
  • Walter Fagen
  • Sir David Attenborough
  • Tribe called ?
  • andrew / oafc
  • Hawkeye
  • Macca
  • Sub-atomic Katt

1st October 2002

In preparation for his absence from the Board during the Great North Run, the Webmiester asks Mick McSorley to act as Moderator.

4th October 2002

Mick resigns.

5th October 2002

"X" hours later Mick returns

7th October 2002

Webmiester returns from the Great North Run. The previous goings on were deliberately played down.

10th October 2002

Janes absence from the Treehouse is noted. She had apparently taken offence at Marcus's comment.

11th October 2002

Mick McSorely accuses Marcus of being the film critic Mark Kermode.
Rather than deny this, Marcus plays along and embellishes the accusation for comic effect.

In reply to more criticism of his term as Moderator Mick McSorley replies that "he is here permanently in that role"

Believing Marcus's version of events Mick changes his mind and and announces his resignation from the Treehouse.

Jane returns to the Treehouse.

13th October 2002

Mick Returns (again)

14th October 2002

Marcus mocks Micks return, posting Micks resignation speech. Mick sets about editing Marcus's posts. This goes on for an entire evening.

Many posters make public their opinions on Mick's actions as Moderator.

The Webmiester posts on the board, requesting Marcus contacts him immediately. He had been made aware of Marcus' comments regarding Jane, and subsequent actions on the board. He asked a number of people (CJ, Mick, RichardX, Andyoafc and Red Vixen) as to whether Marcus should be banned or warned. The unanimous decision was to warn him that such behaviour would not be tolerated in future, but not to ban him.

15th October 2002

Mick McSorely resigns again from the Treehouse, saying he would stay in contact with a number of members, and would "see us all in the house of the dead" ( a reference to Dead Elrond's new Message Board).

16th October 2002

Sid (Security) posts encouraging the "Treehouse cream" to put their email addresses in their profiles, in order they can be contacted with an interesting offer. Subsequently Sid(Security) is established as a pseudonym for Mick McSorely.

19th October 2002

Sid (Security) posts requesting Cuthbert Twillie put his email address in his profile.

The following days board activity continues with no arguments. Marcus makes a few non abusive posts. A number of people receive emails from Mick McSorely inviting them to a new forum which is advertised as "the wankpot free version". Each member of the forum requires approval prior to joining unlike the Treehouse, where membership is open to everyone. All the members are ex-Treehousers. The board is entitled "not the Treehouse".

Thommo is in contact with the Webmiester regarding other matters, and invites him to join. Feeling let down by the setting up of the board behind his back, and the use of the Treehouse to recruit members to another board, Webmiester closes the Treehouse message board to prevent further losses.

Webmiester makes his views clear to Thommo on the matter, who posts them onto the other board. Mike Jefferies suggests the members return to the Treehouse board, on the understanding that the Webmiester agrees to additional moderators. All those members who reply refuse to consider this.

Barry Chuckle appears on the board, and suggests Andrew OAFC is invited. Thommo agrees, as Andrew is "a top bloke". Only ten days after praising him as a "true Treehouse hero" . Mick McSorely now states that Andrew "has wankpot tendencies, is in regular contact with Marcus and LSG, and stirs up trouble under a number of nom de plumes". Barry suggests that the votes now stand as one for and one against. Thommo changes his vote. Barry states he does not want to contribute to this site.

Mike Jefferies posts a message on the front page of the Archive, offering a brief explanation as to why the Treehouse is down. Approximately 75 emails are received in the next 5 days. Each person is offered the chance to have their details passed on to Elrond and McSorely for consideration as members of the new board. Two people accept this offer.

Dead Elrond (as Administrator) posts the following to "Notthetreehouse"

"3 people said they wouldn't be contributing to the Treehouse, and I am one of them. Everyone else said they would be contributing to both the Treehouse and here. So what has the Treehouse lost? I shall tell you. Three people. Three people out of over 1,000 registered members at the Treehouse. And yet it seems this 0.3% of the total Treehouse members is enough to cause the end of that forum."

True statistics reveal the following:-

When the Treehouse closed there were 186 active posters. By active we are excluding aliases and are only including members who posted within a month of the forum going down.

Since the "Invite-only" Forum launched the Treehouse has lost over 40 members or 21% - nearly a quarter of it's membership!! We are including members who post to both boards in these figures.

23rd October 2002

In the absence of the Treehouse Board, a few staunch Treehousers set up a temporary Forum called the Liferaft to provide vital flotation during the chaos.

28th October 2003

Marcus answers his critics on the Liferaft.

November - Present

Early November the Treehouse and the Messageboard were back on line, now fully moderated.Since then there have been less than fifteen moderator alerts,almost all of them relating to the same thread.

Some of "The Departed" have reappeared but, sadly, in most cases only briefly - and a handful took the opportunity to reopen some old wounds. However, the door is never shut and all or any are welcome to return at any time.

Today the Treehouse seems stronger than ever, with an increasing membership and a very busy messageboard. The lessons of the past had to be learned in order that they would not be repeated; but with a final salute to departed comrades it's fast forward into the future. Let's all enjoy the ride together.

This subject has already been covered extensively on the Treehouse Message Board so please do not post further on the topic. Instead please email any feedback and this will be collated and addressed in Issue Two of the Newsletter.

The above has been a collaborative effort beween the Webmiester, the four Moderators and one Treehouser.

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