A Letter to the Sudomemo Community

Hello all,

It is time to address what has been going on, and what we will be doing going forward. From the beginning, since I started Sudomemo at age 17 (during my last year of high school), Sudomemo's identity has been closely tied to my own. Not only did I use my own persona (Sudofox) as the service's mascot, but I placed myself as its sole leader. But some of my actions were not exemplary.

For personal reasons, loneliness is something I've struggled with for a while. The loneliness started leading to me acting more flirtatious from time to time. One night I ended up talking to someone, and it got dirty.

I was ashamed. I was painfully aware of, and still am, my desire for feeling close to someone, and unresolved hurts. I am so sorry for anyone directly affected by flirting, or behavior that overstepped boundaries. I also want to apologize for things like using profanity in our Discord in the past, even when we don't permit it there or elsewhere. I want to apologize to the community for that breach of trust and respect you are now feeling.

I've been seeking help from my (real-life) friends and family, who have been working through it with me to provide accountability, Thank you for the forgiveness some have offered.

Thank you for those who, although having righteous anger, have acted with kindness and understanding. If not, I ask your forgiveness, and I'm sorry if the appeal of the site has been damaged due to my actions. I would like you to take note that I have never asked anyone for nude photos or anything of that sort. I did once foolishly ask someone that I didn't know, (who had been previously posting their NSFW art in a Discord server) if they would share more, which they did with no complaint. When I later found out that they not yet 18, I let them know that I wasn't comfortable with them sharing that art with me anymore, and I asked them to stop.

That's the context that has been omitted from the video. The other thing that was omitted was that our (seemingly) private conversations were external and not part of Sudomemo. Note also that this person, who was not yet 18, was already creating NSFW content long before I contacted them.

However, I should not have asked for the art in the first place. It runs counter to my beliefs and my values, and I fell for the temptation. For that, I am very sorry. I am distancing myself from the inappropriate content in general, as it does not grow me in any good way.

There's been plenty of conversations I've had with all kinds of people where I might've said something or other that they took as creepy, and I didn't understand that what I'd said could be taken another way. I never meant to be creepy. I will take full responsibility for my words, bad or good, and also for learning about how Asperger's affects me, so that I can learn from it and change how I live so that it doesn't cause me to stumble socially. In taking responsibility, I want to apologize if anything I've said creeped you out. I'm sorry.

There are going to be some changes in terms of Sudomemo moderation because I understand and accept the consequences of my actions. Therefore, I'm going to step away from most direct community interaction; I'll still be doing light moderation and sysadmin/backend development work on Sudomemo, however.

Both myself, and all of the staff at Sudomemo still believe that this website should remain a kid friendly site. Therefore, there will be no significant changes to our policies when it comes to keeping Sudomemo a “safe for work” place.

I hope it is not too much to first ask for forgiveness, but then ask one more thing. But, please do not make the choice to omit vital context about things. Context can make the difference between a truth and an untruth, and choosing to omit it or alter it will lead people to conclusions that are inherently flawed. You do other people a disservice by leaving out important context. Thank you to those who understand that there's more than one side to any story.

We are working on a lot of changes to Sudomemo and its moderation to make it more streamlined and easier to do without having to specifically contact us. Part of the goal is to reduce the personal involvement between moderators and users, which does not scale well at all. This is still in discussion and we thank you for your patience while we work things out.

Thank you for considering my letter, my apology, and the other things I've said in this letter. I hope you consider it a genuine effort to not only own up for my mistakes, but lay out, transparently and in some detail, the measures that I've been taking to learn from and not make those mistakes again.

Please enjoy your day and, if you so choose, continue to enjoy your use of Sudomemo.

Austin Burk (Sudofox)