The October Crisis is divided into three parts: “Would X be better off under Y?”, “the Great Election of 2014”, and Black Saturday.
The “Would X be better off under Y?” snowclone began when a new user named oreocruncher posted the thread “Would China be better off if it was still under Japanese rule?” on October 22nd 2014. As one could probably infer from the title, it was a controversial line of inquiry, but it was made in good faith and oreocruncher for her part profusely apologized for unintentionally bringing up a touchy topic. However, the thread would grow into a phenomena on October 24th. On that day, an avalanche of similarly named threads, some serious but most facetious, completely swamped the chat. When CalBear returned in the early hours of October 25th, he locked twenty of the twenty-one clones before killing off the last of them later that day.
“The Great Election of 2014” emerged in the wake of the “Would X be better off under Y?” spamming epidemic, as some forumites began to suggest that the moderating staff should be expanded. On October 25th, user Superman made a thread on the topic, and a slap-dash list of nominees was hashed out in a little less than hour among a handful of people.
An off-site poll was established by Sabot Cat to suggest an additional member of the moderating team from among these nominees with an 'Other' option put forward to paper over the problems of the original nominating process. The poll became controversial because of this and for the reason that it was seen as something of a “coup”. At the very least, it was a hasty, perhaps disrespectful usurpation of Ian's good judgement, as he had neither suggested the need for a new moderator or sanctioned a poll to determine one. Things took a turn towards the absurd when, upon hearing criticism of the idea, Sabot Cat opened up a poll on whether or not the moderator poll should be closed down. She ultimately came to her senses and suggested that perhaps voting for a moderator wouldn't be helpful to Ian in selecting a new one if he felt so inclined. Fenwick, who was tied with Thande for first place, denounced the heresy of the poll and affirmed his loyalty to the eternal throne of IAN.
Information on this can be found here.
“When the October Crisis began, none of us knew what we were getting into. I got into an argument or two about living standards in Cuba, and I think we all laughed at the toilet paper thread. Everyone thought it would pass in a few minutes, that it was just another dumb series of memes. We were so foolish, so young back then. The Gamergate thread was a mere afterthought, just another discussion about video game fanatics and sexism. Kung Fucious sent me a PM and tried to warn me that things were getting out of hand, that the thread couldn't end well. But I didn't listen. I didn't listen…”
-CthulhuFhtagn, Alternate Civil War veteran
“I saw the threads. Some of the threads were paticularly entertaining and I chuckled to myself as I read. TDM was on vacation. Ian hadn't been seen for 3 days. Calbear wasn't to be seen, but rumors of him watching the World Series surfaced. I thought he would come after the game. But he didn't. The hours ticked by into the wee hours of the night and the threads kept on coming. I went to bed after Kimmel with the satisfaction that in the morning all this nonsense would stop.
But that was just the beginning.
“I saw the light over the Gamergate thread, and it was then that I knew that it wasn't just any carpetbombing of Coventry… it was a goddamned nuclear banhammer strike. I'm just glad that I wasn't there when it fell…”
-CannedTech, Shared Worlds SDF member