I came to a nice MUSH in about May of last year. It was good, decent. I felt a strong draw to it, and its plots. In July, bickering between the head wiz and the other admin forced the MUSH to split in two. For reasons I will not bring up, I'll leave the names of the MUSHes and specific admin out of it, though I'm sure a few who are in the HP MU* community know what I'm talking about.
Things started off well enough on the breakaway MUSH. Things were interesting, and relatively calm. Of course, I began to notice small...inconsistancies popping up. The little things, if you will.
The first concerned a player on the MUSH. Now, he's an average player, nothing /too/ upsetting. His RP isn't exactly the Queen's English (or what passes for it these days), but it was passable. There is a rule in play that says no more than one student char per House, save in admin-approved circumstances. Not only is he allowed an alt in the same House, but the alt is also a member of the House Quidditch team. Someone with below-average to average RP skills being given an alt with a very high-profile, important IC position? Something begins to smell fishy...
Later on, said player also begins paging myself and others, incessantly asking us for RP. We tell him we don't want to RP at the time, yet he continues to bother us for it. This is becoming both an OOC and IC matter, as his chars are being used to 'spy' out scenes, shared OOC know and all. It's rather disgusting, that... Anyway, we +mail the admins complaining of the harassment (which it was), yet heard no response. Other efforts to +mail them with suggesting 'no contact' orders are rebuffed. It takes a fairly large list of abuses and IC actions to have such a 'no contact' actually enforced (which becomes somewhat moot at any point, since his main is later ICly expelled). This begins to get my gears turning that this isn't simply another player...
I suppose it could be said that having the entire school forced into one of the lamest plots I have ever encountered was the final straw. Somehow, I doubt Voldy and the DEs would make an active assault (a seige, for crying out loud) against the school. They're supposed to be more subtle, at least in the books. They work in shadows, the ones pulling the strings of the puppetmasters, even. They're not supposed to be a stand-up army. They're covert agents, best incognito and hidden. Hrm, I'm getting off topic here. In my opinion, the best plots /never/ force someone to participate. Participation is welcome, but not enforced.
After months of feeling the MUSH was going to hell in a handbasket, I get off my tush and write up a review. Mind you, I had been spending a /significant/ amount of time there; I practically considered it my online home. Who better to know how to review and describe its faults? Roughly one week after the review was submitted, I suddenly find that the MUSH now refuses player reviews. Hello? Are they kidding me? If they can't stand criticism (both good and bad), why the hell are they running a MUSH?
A) A player is given 'special' permission to have a special alt. A Quidditch alt, /and/ two chars in the same House. A big no-no under most circumstances.
B) Ignoring charges of harassment, allowing said harassment to persist. They must not have updated their news files on harassment in a while, if they chose to ignore the issue...
C) Disallowing player reviews. This is a toss-up, really. Mine would have been the only review for the MUSH currently, and it was pretty critical while describing the faults. But then, I've put so much time into that place with various chars, participated in the plots. Wouldn't I know what was wrong with them from a player's view?
So, as the title says, the admin have every right to do these things, whether it is handing out special token chars to their favorite players, or shutting down the ability to praise or critique the MUSH. But is it /ethical/ for them to do this? Since this is public, I won't go into details, but I can carry on a conversation in private about the review, or actions on the MUSH.
~A Disgruntled Player