History & Timeline
The Beginning Of A Solution
The whole idea of a blacklist began in early 2014. We were tired of hearing of players scam in one clan, get kicked, but then just scam in another clan. Every clan had their own blacklist, but that wasn’t enough. It was time to start taking preventive measures against scammers rather than simply banning them once they had already scammed again in the next clan. The solution was a shared blacklist – no new concept or anything. In fact some Oldschool clans had already been sharing each other’s blacklists, but not on a very large scale. I created a simple list of names on Notepad and started sharing it with other clan leaders to look, pleading with them to participate in the effort. Most clans were happy to participate; Some clans were not so enthusiastic. Nevertheless, the project took shape and started gaining momentum. The original content of the Notepad can be viewed here.
The Google Document
As the next progressive step from Notepad, we created a Google Document titled “The Oldschool Runescape Blacklist”. Google proved to be very helpful and its usage would be continued later down the road. With the help of Trevor (Oblv Trev) – leader of Oblivion and Jack (Jumanji), co-leader of Oblivion, we collected the names from at least five of the most popular OldSchool clans at that time. These clans were happy to share their Blacklist with us. In no time we had a Google Doc list of scammers up and running and we were in business. Right away we found ourselves dealing with all sorts of scam ordeals. It was a blast! We spent all day writing comments for as many scammers that we could get info on, collecting as much evidence as possible. The original document can be viewed here.
The OSRS Blacklist Site
A few months into what had proven to be a successful Blacklist document, I decided that it was time for an official website. Little by little I worked on building the site while still maintaining the document. At this point my original partner in the blacklist, Trev, had become occupied with other duties in his life and had to step down from his active role in the blacklist, along with his co-leader Jack. Fortunately, a cool guy and clan leader named Steve from Exigence decided to assist us in maintaining the Blacklist. Steve proved to be a Blacklist expert! The new site was released in no time and helped get the word out on scammers to an even greater degree. The original OSRS Blacklist website can be viewed here.
Utilizing Google Sheets
August, 2014 — We decided to implement Google Spreadsheets into the OSRS Blacklist website. This was a large project to undertake, but it would definitely prove to be worth the effort. With new admins Tracy and Elise (Domina) now on the team, efforts were distributed well and our duties were being carried out with ease while still having time to undertake this big project. Our reasons behind this move were many. The main reasons were flexibility and efficiency. Having the blacklist on a Google Spreadsheet (basically Excel) would give us much more control over the data stored on the sheet. And not only us, but our viewers too! With the spreadsheet, any information on the blacklist could be searched across not only the main blacklist but through other sheets too. Viewers would be directed to the exact characters they were searching for – this was a feature not available even on the OSRS Blacklist website itself. The utilization of Google Sheets definitely made a huge impact on the efficacy of the website. In fact, we were so fond of the new Spreadsheet that we decided to move a few other features of the website to Spreadsheets. These included the Name Changes page, the Added Names page, and a section of the Participating Clans page. The original blacklist spreadsheet can be viewed here.
WordPress and RS Justice
October 2014 — We moved the entire website over to WordPress. WordPress provided even more flexibility than Google Spreadsheets and allowed us to function in a more organized manner. At this point I decided to drop the term “blacklist” for both technical and practical reasons. Although in essence the website does act as a list of presumably bad players, it is ultimately up to each and every individual to decide whether a listed player is abusive or not; calling the website a blacklist implied that every person added to the site was in fact a “bad” or abusive person. I preferred to keep a more neutral position, leaving it up to the public to decide whether a player on the site is bad or not.
Steady Progress and Touching Up
Early 2016 — The website had progressed very smoothly, with more and more clans utilizing the website and a very capable staff team keeping it all together. The term RS Justice had become quite popular in Oldschool Runescape, especially amongst clans. The project was becoming a serious problem for players who decided to scam, with them not being able to join dozens of participating clans. We were becoming really strict on the evidence standard – something we’ve been promising to continue from early on. Anthmelo had mastered keeping track of and updating name changes, so much so that he was then the only staff member entrusted to the task.
Efficiency and accuracy
Entering 2017, RS Justice had undergone some big changes to the way it operated, now more efficiently than ever. I ran into a guy called TwistyFork, who turned out to be a very skillful programmer. TwistyFork created a Discord bot with some OSRS commands which his clan was using. The bot also had a simple command to check if a given name is on RS Justice. TwistyFork and I collaborated to greatly improve the bot’s integration with RS Justice, and thanks to his programming skills and knowledge, the bot quickly became the number one method for clan leaders to check if a name is listed on RS Justice, as opposed to having to load a page with a long list of names to search from. Around this time a guy called Holy Cleric contributed his Graphics Design skills and worked with us to create a real logo for the website, something which, surprisingly, had not been established yet. On the other side of efficiency, the report abuse system had now become fully automated so that players can upload screenshot evidence themselves and all of their report details would be automatically formatted and drafted as a case all ready-to-go, simply awaiting final approval.
more to come…