Welcome back to Philosophy Corner. Today, we’ll be considering a particularly controversial topic: the removal of CPA Legends [Legends Removals].
This post does discuss individuals who did very morally dubious things. Be warned there will be some discussion of NSFW topics. I would not be doing this subject justice if I cut this out completely. I have tried to minimise it as best as I can. Viewer discretion is strongly advised.
Legends Removals remain a controversial topic for several different reasons. The title of ‘CPA Legend’ remains the highest award you can win within the CPA community after more than a decade and whilst the standards have been higher or lower depending on what’s gone on, they remain very high. Out of thousands of people who have been in armies from 2006 to the present day, only 83 people have achieved Legend, and only 19 of them have been inducted since the original Club Penguin shut down in 2017. Considering how long some of these people have been in armies for, there are bound to be people whose Legend status is debated.
The debate around the potential removal of Waterkid, an OG Legend who went on to be exposed as a paedophile in modern armies, is a common one when Legends are being discussed. Many argue that his actions warrant the stripping of all of his awards.
Today, we’ll be discussing the reasons why some feel the Legend title should be revoked from some past inductees. We’ll be considering why some Legends like Waterkid have retained their status to this day. Ultimately, we will try and answer the question:
Can we ever justify the removal of a CPA Legend?
As ever, try and put aside any ideas you have on this subject. Try to draw a line between the way you feel about the people discussed here and the objective facts. Consider everything presented here first and then make a judgement.
With this topic, in particular, it’s also really important to consider your own judgements on the subject. Try and consider arguments not covered by this article. The topic of Legends removals is a vast one, this post will not cover everything.
We’ll start by considering why some people think certain Legends should be removed.
Arguments in favour of Legends Removals
Moral grounds are by far the reason most commonly given to justify the removal of certain Legends and much of the debate revolves around Legends who have done morally dubious/reprehensible things like Waterkid. Many argue that those who do terrible things don’t deserve to keep their Legends. This is certainly understandable. In the real world, celebrities often lose the awards they’ve received if they do something terrible. It makes sense for the same thing to happen here in armies.
It’s also worth noting that Legends are meant to be role models that you can look up to. Paedophilia isn’t exactly a goal to aspire for.
Additionally, Legends like Waterkid do suggest a certain double standard. Waterkid still has his Legend despite everything he has done, but people who have similarly done terrible things are rarely voted in as Legend today. A prime example of this would be RFCP founder Prior Bumble, whose Legend was a fierce subject for debate for some time after the original 2019 inductions by Club Penguin Armies Media.
Over time, as more allegations surfaced against Prior, more and more people decided Prior didn’t deserve to have Legend because of what he had done. Even the CPA Wiki, who had recognised Prior as Legend after a committee reviewing 2019 Legends almost unanimously voted him in, would later drop Prior as a Legend for unclear reasons not clarified until months later.
If Prior isn’t going to be voted in as Legend because of the terrible things he did, why should Waterkid get to keep his Legend despite all of the terrible things he did? This is especially true seeing as Prior was active at the same time as Waterkid up to a point. Both people were active at the same time and yet are judged by different standards. This is a classic case of a double standard that does need to be resolved.
You could argue that because of the era difference, this is fair. Whilst Prior was inducted [or not inducted] by today’s standards, Waterkid was inducted by 2012’s standards. Whilst these standards have changed, perhaps we should respect that things were different 9 years ago.
However, you could also argue that Waterkid’s actions today and not in 2012 and that his actions today should be judged by today’s standards, not by how things used to be seen.
Just from this small part of the argument, you can begin to understand why the Legends Removals issue remains unresolved. There is a tremendous amount to consider here and a lot of subjective elements that make it difficult to reach an objective conclusion.
To briefly consider a more objective factor, you could also argue that Legends should be removed if they do things like multilog, a tactic banned universally by the community [more on the philosophy of this here]. In fact, 2012 Legend Ganger90 did have his Legend revoked by Club Penguin Army Central [CPAC] after he was caught multilogging. It wouldn’t be until 2020 that his Legend would be reinstated by Club Penguin Armies Hub.
We’ll move on now to consider arguments against Legends removals.
Arguments against Legends Removals
The primary reason given to counter moral grounds is that CPA Legends should be decided by impact and the ‘armies’ side of matters, not based on drama that takes place. Some argue that Legends was intended to solely focus on this and shouldn’t be influenced by subjective factors like morality. Instead, the focus should be on solely objective factors like impact, army sizes, wars won, etc.
Furthermore, to take Waterkid as an example again, Waterkid’s actions in modern armies do not change what he did in 2012. Everything Waterkid did to merit his original induction still happened, and CPAC never revoked his Legend status despite the tremendous amount of controversy around Waterkid during OG armies [this may need further research, however, given the revoking of Ganger90].
However, it is worth noting that whilst we can’t definitively and objectively judge something based on something subjective, we can still reach widely accepted conclusions based on something subjective. It is universally agreed and considered a fact that Waterkid did terrible things. In cases like this where a subjective opinion is universally taken as fact, why can’t we use these factors to inform our judgement? We all know that Waterkid did bad things, so why can’t we use this to inform our judgement?
Additionally, it is worth considering that Waterkid himself was far from a saint in OG armies. Looking through CPAC’s posts on Waterkid easily verify this, showing that he got caught multilogging, was removed from both Pirates and Light Troops, openly opposed CPAC and lost his 2012 Person of the Year as a result, infected people’s computers with a virus that allowed him access to their devices, was removed from Pirates a second time, and that’s just what I dug up from five minutes of browsing the CPAC website.
There is plenty here to warrant his removal based solely on what he got up to back in OG armies. But, I digress.
Before we conclude, I’d like to give you an anecdote and another example to consider.
Whilst writing this post, I had an interesting conversation with a colleague of mine who argued that Legends shouldn’t be removed. He suggested that the impact of Legends like Waterkid is what counts and should be remembered, positive and negative. He compared the situation to the case of historical figures like Adolf Hitler, the leader of Germany throughout the real World War II. We should never forget the terrible things Hitler did. The same principle applies to an extent with Waterkid.
I agreed in part with what he was trying to say, but I did have one major problem with this. Whilst I agree that we should never forget what Hitler did to the Jews, the disabled and the other groups he targeted, no one would ever say his impact should be celebrated. And, to return to penguin armies, CPA Legend is an award that celebrates the impact someone has.
This community should never forget what Waterkid did, positive or negative. But, we would never celebrate all of the harm he caused people, and yet we do just by recognising him as a CPA Legend. We, as a community, say that what he did was acceptable by allowing him to keep his Legend.
You can’t selectively celebrate only someone’s positive impact either. To use Hitler again, a lesser-known fact about him is that he was strongly against animal cruelty. There were a lot of rules in place in Germany to protect animals. Would we ever celebrate this in light of everything else Hitler did? Of course not.
So why should armies be any different? Why should we celebrate any positive impact that people like Waterkid had if they did negative things later on? We wouldn’t in real life, so what allows us to do it here?
Overall, it’s my conclusion that we should try to respect the choices made in the past by the standards held back then and remember that these people had a substantial impact on the community. Positive and/or negative, we should never forget what they did.
With that being said, I don’t think that people who did terrible things like Waterkid should be given Legend. I don’t think they should be allowed to keep their Legend if they do bad things later in their career. I don’t think it sets a good standard for the highest award this community has to offer. It suggests you can do awful things and still get Legend so long as you lead an army to a high max, which isn’t even the case today.
I’ve highlighted the case of Prior Bumble, whose attempts to get Legend were destroyed by all of the morally dubious things he did. No one will ever induct Prior today. No one would ever induct Waterkid today. So, why do we still recognise him?
If you’ve stuck with me to the end, congratulations. This was by far the most difficult topic I’ve covered yet for CPAHQ. Despite how much I’ve discussed here, there is still a lot more to say about the removal of CPA Legends. I only looked at Waterkid and Prior Bumble in-depth here; there are other Legends whose actions could be examined as part of this debate. There are so many other angles to consider.
What do YOU think? Are there other reasons why we shouldn’t remove Legends? Where should we draw the line? Are Legends Removals ever justifiable?
Leave a comment below, or join the debate over at the CPAHQ discord server.