Grab a cup of tea, coffee, or alcoholic beverage, get comfy, and get yourself in the mood for a tale from the forum's past.
Final Report: The Stewy Incident
By Jedimastershark, long time forum member and unofficial forum historian
It's time this story was told with greater detail beyond most posts. The content below is a source of contention for older forum members/vets, hence my hesitation in recounting it. There has been a lot of debate about the details and I will try to get the story as accurate as possible.
You hang around these forums enough and venture into the Off Topic section, you will always here tales of a forum member named Stewy. Over the years, he has held many different names and there are occasional accusations against the latest trolls that they are really just Stewy in disguise, coming back for more fun. Whether or not Stewy has ever returned to the forum is purely academic. What this report will focus on is what Stewy was most famous for; the incident he caused.
To get a good idea about who Stewy was and what he did, I have to take you back quite a long time. In fact, we have to go all the way back to 2009, when these forums were still centered around the latest entry in the Call of Duty series, World at War, and there was talk that the next Call of Duty was going to be a sequel to Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare. During this period, the forums were a lot different then they are today. Many who hail from this period of the forums refer to it as a golden age, and its hard to disagree as the forums back then were in many people's opinions, including my own, at their best.
During this golden age, there was a ranking system, not unlike the one they just instituted, but much better. Everyone had a military rank that was based off of posts and ratings and ribbons you've earned from in game challenges. The system somewhat encouraged spamming, but we never had any real problems. I was a Master Sergeant back then and I was still considered to be amongst the newer members as there were plenty of people there who hailed from an even older Call of Duty site called Charlie Oscar Delta that was for Call of Duty 4 and older and they were all Generals.
My old CoD Forums Rank from the time
I frequently posted in a much more lively OT back then and I generally got to know all of the new members and one new member caught my eye. His user name was STEWY GRIFFEN, and he quickly became known as being a bit of a spammer and a troll. Most in the OT didn't care much as he never did anything to piss off the Generals and he always had something funny to add to a conversation, even if it was really off topic. For the next several months, he became a regular contributor and a friend to some, even I had him on my friends list (back when that was a feature of the forums). Then, things went downhill.
It happened almost overnight. I was on one day, everything was normal, went to bed, and checked in on the forums the next morning to find every post on the first page was owned by Stewy. This isn't something that hadn't happened before as some OTers who felt like playing a little joke fill up the first page with just their posts and take a screen shot of it (I did it before, but the screenshot has been lost to the ages). What was remarkable about this was that first of all, Stewy was a spammer, but he never spammed that much, and secondly, the filled up the next 3 pages as well! Needless to say, the Chief Moderator at the time, MaTtks (Now he works for Treyarch as a developer), gave Stewy a week long ban.
When Stewy came back from his ban, the Incident began. It started with random spam posts in several threads, but it soon evolved into spam threads burying the entire first 10 pages of the OT and a couple of other forum sections. In addition, he started to harass some of the older members, challenging them to do something about him amongst other profanity laced things. Once again, MaTtks came in and swung the ban hammer, this time with a perma-ban of his account. It should have ended there, and it would have for most forum trolls, but Stewy was not going to give up.
Within a few hours of his account being banned, he had made another account and returned to spamming. For the next couple of weeks, a pattern would emerge. Stewy would spam the forums beyond all recollection, flame a bunch of the Generals, and then his account would be banned with his threads and posts deleted, followed by him making a new account and starting the process of again. Eventually, MaTtks brought out the IP ban hammer for the first time in the forum's history to my knowledge. This should have solved the problem, however, Stewy used a "device" which I will not name for forum security sake. Whenever MaTtks would IP ban Stewy's latest account, he would change his IP using the "device" and return to business. Because of all of this, the forums became unpostable during this time. Stewy succeeded where most trolls, spammers, and flamers fail; he ruined the forum.
It wasn't long before many of the Generals started flaming him back, sometimes saying things far worse than Stewy ever said. The OT developed into Stewy's personal spam playground with most of the forum regulars degenerating into flamers themselves in a misguided attempt to put an end to Stewy's reign of terror. This went on for weeks, 5 weeks if memory serves, before MaTtks had to go to the greatest extreme any moderator could go to, threaten to contact your ISP and have your internet disconnected along with possible criminal prosecution. That finally ended Stewy's reign of terror that I refer to as "The Stewy Incident". Additionally, there were many casualties, several members were banned for their flaming back at Stewy, others simply left because they didn't want to deal with the crap anymore.
A screenshot taken by me shortly after the end of the Stewy Incident. It talks about MajorRodriguez (commonly referred to as Major), a forum General, being banned.
The Stewy Incident is what I credit with being the death of the old OT. Before Stewy, the OT was always as active as the main Call of Duty sections and their were lots of good forum users that made the section exciting and fun. After, many people left, even those who said they would stay. Not long after all of that, the ranks/points system broke and the forum was eventually overhauled, breaking several forum veteran's accounts and sweeping away the last remnants of the old OT. The OT hasn't been the same since the Stewy incident and it is why many forum vets do not like to talk about the incident and reminisce of the OT's lost glory days.
There might be some more details, I may also make some edits as I review this post, but this is all I care to recount. I hope this answers your question and if any other new members ask who Stewy was, please direct them to this post.
The first rule of the Stewy Incident, is that we don't talk about the Stew Incident.
Fellow vets, forgive me, but the truth needed to be recorded..