Axanar's Night of the Long Knives

Axanar admin admits he monitors donors’ ‘negative’ activities on Facebook

FEB. 21 — On the eve of filing its lawsuit response, Axanar closed off its Facebook groups to the public, deleted dissenting discussion threads and summarily ejected donors deemed unsupportive.

UPDATE Mar. 15 — Former Axanar supporter Sandy Greenberg tells his story on 1701News: “The Troll that Alec Peters Built.”

AN EXCHANGE between an Axanar donor and Terry McIntosh, admin of Facebook’s Axanar Fan Group. Two days later, Sandy Greenberg and many others were banned, and the group was closed off to the public.

Just a couple of days before, more members of the Axanar Fan Group began asking questions about the lawsuit, the project’s accountability, and why discussion threads were being deleted and members ejected.

The Purge

From available reports, since the copyright infringement lawsuit was filed against Axanar in December, scores of its fan group’s members have been banned from the group, and admin Terry McIntosh admitted it was because he monitors the member lists of Facebook groups he decided were undesirable. He told one ejected donor:

It was brought to my attention that you’ve posted in one of the [other] groups in a negative fashion on one occasion… I am the one that clicked the ‘ban’ button when you reapplied today though, because you’re on the member list of several of the anti-Axanar groups, including their “secret” one that apparently there is a mole in.1) [emphasis added]

On Sunday, admin McIntosh announced the Axanar Fan Group was being closed off from public view:

The production team has made the decision to set this group as ‘closed,’ instead of ‘public’ … the decision was unanimous. … Content can no longer be shared with non-members, which is unfortunate, but now we feel that it’s a prudent decision to keep out the riffraff.2) [emphasis added]

Hurting the Case

Copyright expert Stephen Carlisle of Nova Southeastern University decried these actions, suggesting they may hurt the character of Axanar’s defense in its copyright case:

If you need further proof of the true intentions of these so-called “fair use” and “free speech” crusaders, it’s that persons who are critical of Axanar’s ethics and legal positions have their posts on Axanar’s Facebook page deleted and their ability to post on the Axanar page revoked.3)

Seeking Answers

Axanar donor Sandy Greenberg, took to another Star Trek Facebook group to ask why he’d been ejected and got a terse response from McIntosh, also an admin at the other group:

Sandy Greenberg → Star Trek
Since the Admins here seem to be the same for the Axanar Fan page, could someone please explain to me why myself and several others were removed from that page yesterday? As far as I am aware I didn’t violate any of the page guidelines and would like an explanation.

Terry McIntosh
Nope.4)

'Public Butthurt'

Another banned donor, podcaster Steve Roberts, also asked for justification:

So, Alec Peters, can you please tell me why have I not only been kicked from the now Closed “Axanar Fan Group” but upon submitting a new join request have been Blocked completely … a group that in its own description states is for ALL fans, supporters and donors - and a donor I AM?!!

What is it that you and the other group admins are actually now hiding behind “Closed” doors that you are actively kicking lots of fans, supporters and donors? You see I know it is not just I that this has happened to as I’ve seen people posting about this all day in other groups!5)

McIntosh and Roberts exchanged several messages, eventually leading to Roberts’ readmission to the Fan Group:

Terry McIntosh
If you’d approached me privately and we discussed this as adults then we surely could have hashed it out. I’m not saying that can’t still happen, but your stock dropped a bit with the public butthurt.

So, the question is, do you wish to participate in the Axanar group? If so, I’m cool with that. But, and this is a big asterisk, if it comes to our attention that you’re lobbing turd in our direction then you’ll be dumped like toxic waste. *said with humor behind it, just so we’re clear*6) 7) [emphasis added]

On to Twitter

Meanwhile, Greenberg took to Twitter to ask for an explanation:

Sandy Greenberg
Can someone at @StarTrekAxanar please explain why I’ve been booted out of the FB group?
1:44 PM - 21 Feb 2016
Sandy Greenberg
.@StarTrekAxanar Anyone there? I think as a donor I deserve an answer.
2:47 PM - 21 Feb 2016

Greenberg then made a direct appeal to Axanar‘s reputedly fan-friendly director, Robert Meyer Burnett:

Sandy Greenberg
Do you see what the @StarTrekAxanar people are like @BurnettRM? You seem to be a voice of reason, they need a lesson on how to treat people.
10:29 PM - 21 Feb 2016

Finally, Greenberg posted a screenshot8) of McIntosh’s dismissal, alerting Axanar’s crowdfunding platforms to how the project was treating its donors:

Sandy Greenberg
How not to run a crowd funded project. TOSTerms of Service violation perhaps? @kickstarter @Indiegogo @StarTrekAxanar
12:57 AM - 22 Feb 2016

Keywords

1)
Terry McIntosh Facebook post, retrieved 2/22/16.
2)
View screenshot of Terry McIntosh Facebook post on the Axanar Fan Group, 2/20/16.
4) , 8)
View screenshot of Sandy Greenberg’s Facebook post, retrieved 2/21/16
5)
Steve Rogers Facebook post, 2/21/16
6)
Terry McIntosh reply to Steve Robert's post on Facebook, 2/21/16
7)
View screenshot of Terry McIntosh’s Facebook post, 2/21/16.