User:ZabëlleNB/History of the MicroWiki community

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Left to right, clockwise: logos used on MicroWiki between 2008–7 November 2010; 7 November 2010–30 November 2014 and 15 April 2015–23 March 2017; 30 November 2014–15 April 2015; 23 March 2017–present
Methods of communication commonly used throughout the history of the MicroWiki community (top to bottom, left to right): talk pages (November 2005 to August 2010), the OAM forums (August 2010 to mid-2011), MicroWiki Forums (December 2010 to early 2018), Skype (early 2010 to September 2018), Facebook[a] (primarily late 2012 to early 2016) and Discord (since September 2018)
Microball comic on the various conflicts and divisions which had arisen in the community by April 2011 following the dissolution of Erusia the year prior; microballs were popular between its creation in August 2010 and 2012

The history of the MicroWiki community encompasses the entire history of the MicroWiki community, from MicroWiki's foundation on 27 May 2005 to the present (1 July 2022 UTC). It is generally divided into ten eras, each consisting of several periods. MicroWiki's history is generally understood through primary sources (direct quotations, most MicroWiki pages, documents, micronational news articles) and secondary sources (some MicroWiki pages, other micronational encyclopaedias and wikis, books). Some primary sources which are no longer available due to link rot may still be accessible via digital archives of the World Wide Web (web archiving), such as the Internet Archive's Wayback Machine, archive.today and WebCite.

The Foundation Era saw the foundation of MicroWiki in May 2005, followed by an immediate dormancy and then a revival in September. Diplomacy was conducted via talk pages on the wiki, a method known as talk page diplomacy. Early to mid-2006 saw unprecedented growth, with MicroWiki branching out into geofiction sectors between June and July – before declining later in the year. 2007 was a relatively quiet year, dominated by a single individual. Between September to November – particularly October – 2008, newer arrivals took to the forefront of the community, with the most influential being the Hontui Sector. The first micronational superpowers in the community were formed. The foundation of the Grand Unified Micronational (GUM) in January 2009 was a significant, community-wide event. The Conflict Era began with the Great Micronational Antarctic War in January, and continued with Black March, ending after the conclusion of two wars in late July and early August. The Lethler Era saw the GUM, and especially Robert Lethler, hold an hegemony over the community, with the GUM effectively being seen as the community itself during September and October. In January 2010, the newly-established Organisation of Active Micronations (OAM) ended the GUM's hegemony, while the use of talk pages declined at the expense of the OAM forums and – to a lesser extent – the newly-established Skype chatrooms. Another series of conflicts broke out as Second Black March commenced, with the polarisation and the St.Charlian Observer's criticism of the Austenasian Civil War resulting in micronational warfare being thereafter regarded as unprofessional and immature. The Great Ideological Conflict in May resulted in the Great Ideological Conflict era, a period of political tension and separation.

A Post-Lethler Era began as it was discovered in late July that Robert Lethler is in actuality a fictional persona. Talk page diplomacy died in August, and Microball comics developed on Skype. The GUM was abandoned in September, with the OAM now dominating. The MicroWiki forums, launched in December, challenged the OAM forums as the principal method of communication, eventually overtaking it in mid-2011. In early 2011, the OAM began to decline as a result of the Linden Affair, and the GUM was restored to activity in August by the Troika. That same month, the first micronational summit in the community was held. The Inter-Summit Era was dominated by Yablokogate in September, while the OAM dissolved in December as the GUM gained influence. The Settled Era began with two significant events: the holding of the largest micronational summit in the community's history in July 2012, and the GUM's 24 Hour Quorum in August, which saw forty participants as money was raised for various charities. However, later into the Era the 2012-13 GUM leadership scandal resulted in a heavy blow to the reputation of the GUM, and inactivity as well as occasional arguments began mounting from 2013 onwards, while two small, informal summits were held in 2013 and 2014 respectively.

During the Polarised Era, the left-wing lost its moral hegemony over the community as several micronationalists converted to Christianity or abandoned socialism, and the GUM abolished its functions as an intergovernmental organisation, transitioning into a formal chatroom in June 2015. As tensions mounted and inactivity increased, an open breach developed between the Old Guard and New Guard in October after members of the Old Guard pull a prank on several new users. The GUM was reformed in June 2016 in attempt to unite the guards, while tensions die down at the start of 2017 as the GUM united much of the community in a second 24 Hour Quorum in May. The Stagnant Era, while diplomatic division died down, was plagued with inactivity. Two intertwined controversies happened in August, and concerns were voiced about the future of the community as members discussed ways to restore activity. Some new members arrived in May 2018, and began forming a community on Discord. After the MicroWiki administration moved to Discord in September, creating MicroWiki@Discord, the Early Discord Era (or simply Discord Era) began as activity was revived. The GUM grew to record numbers of membership, becoming highly regarded and influential. In mid-2019, the decline of MicroWiki@Discord began with some members of the Old Guard bemoaning an atmosphere of unprofessionalism. The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020 made micronational summits unable to be held, while overall activity in the MicroWiki community increased as COVID-19 lockdowns were imposed. By May, the Cupertino Alliance (CA) began to be seen as an alternative to the GUM amongst the New Guard amidst a growing anti-GUM sentiment, while the GUM's fourth 24 Hour Quorum raised £266 (USD#349) for COVID-19 relief. By late June, MicroWiki@Discord ceased to be the principal Discord server of the community. 2021 continued to see a growing influence of newer community members over the Old Guard, and the GUM adopted a modernised charter in March while the CA hit a minor slump of inactivity between February–May amidst internal conflict which continued into the year.

The Modern Era – a common placeholder name for the present Era whilst a name is yet to be agreed upon – is said to have began in early 2022 with Black January.

Eras and periods

Era Periods Start date Description
Foundation 6 27 May 2005 The founding of MicroWiki, and the early micronations of the wiki.
Conflict 3 29 January 2009 An intense era of conflict dominated by military powers of the wiki.
Lethler 4 2 August 2009 A year of community cohesion resulting from the hegemony of Robert Lethler and the Grand Unified Micronational.
Post-Lethler 4 30 July 2010 The community adapts to the departure of Lethler and the move to an independent site from Wikia. Skype groups become the focal points of community interaction, and tension grows due to the rise of Yabloko and what is seen as an unfair site administration.
Inter-Summit 3 6 September 2011 A decrease in overall tensions and conflict in the community, the return of the GUM and the fall of Yabloko and the Organisation of Active Micronations. Some younger micronationalists return to and take over the Wikia site, establishing a rival community.
Settled 4 13 July 2012 A mostly quiet era dominated by the left wing, with few major disruptions but declining levels of diplomatic interaction. The community moves to micronation.org, which is sold to the current owner Emperor Jonathan I of Austenasia.
Polarised 4 28 July 2014 A rift in the community develops between two main "camps", one based on the MicroWiki Forums mostly comprised of younger, more left-wing members and the other based on the community's Skype and Facebook groups mostly comprised of older, more right-wing members.
Stagnant 3 4 May 2017 Tensions die down but the community sees a huge dip in activity and interaction between members and micronations.
Early Discord 4 17 September 2018 Activity rises as the community is revitalised by the creation of a Discord server, MicroWiki@Discord. The schism with MicroWikia is resolved. After MicroWiki@Discord declines, Discord is still used as the primary method of communication.
Modern TBD 31 January 2022 The current era, said to begin with Black January.

Periods

Foundation Era

YesYes Foundation, dormancy and revival

Fabian Schneider, the founder of MicroWiki, c. 2015
The main page of MicroWiki in November 2006

MicroWiki was founded on 27 May 2005 by Fabian Schneider, who wanted to be able to conveniently record information relating to his micronation, the Empire of Seraya, and member states of the League of Sovereign Nations—the Holy Empire of Tritoniakamia and Umoria. The foundation came as a result of the Maryland micronations boom at Schneider's foreign exchange school Chopticon High School, located within the unincorporated community of Morganza, St. Mary's County, Maryland. MicroWiki was abandoned only a week later, as Seraya had greatly declined into inactivity following a period of political instability, and the enthusiasm of the Maryland micronations boom completely diminished; thus, Schneider departed from MicroWiki, causing it to fall into a complete dormancy.

During September, an influx of micronationalists (retroactively the September influx) coincidentally discovered the wiki in that same month. They subsequently rived activity and formed the first community solely based around MicroWiki, which largely consisted of geofictionists and tongue-in-cheek micronations such as the physical United Republic of Arlberg, satirical Beardmonkeya, jocular Carpathian Empire and the Virtual Commonwealth of Cyberia, a cyber micronation. The influx conducted diplomacy via talk pages of the wiki, a method known as talk page diplomacy. Perry, founder and then-Chancellor of Arlberg, became the most active editor on the wiki, and on 19 October proclaimed himself the new de facto manager of MicroWiki, having noted the absence of an existing administration.

YesYes 2006

The MicroWiki community saw exponential growth in 2006, with at least 26 micronationalists joining within the first four months of the year alone—at least five in January, six in February, five in March and ten in April. Prominent arrivals include Pedro Aguiar in February, Cesidio Tallini in March and Jeffrey Hodgson, Prince of the jocular Satirocity, in April. After Arlberg abruptly dissolved on 12 May, with Perry subsequently departing from MicroWiki, Hodgson, aged only ten, promptly succeeded him as the de facto manager of MicroWiki. Hodgson also achieved ubiquity within the community, particularly through his diplomatic efforts as the monarch of Satirocity and high level of activity and dedication to micronationalism.

June and July continued to see regular arrivals in the community—both months having over at least fifteen new micronationalists—as overall diplomatic relations between members of the MicroWiki community became more homogeneous and strengthened between already existing allies. Many micronationalists joining in June and July arrived from the geofiction sectors Shireroth.org and Micras, with the geofiction Nonoparthian Federal Empire and Amokolia gaining prominence. In early June, a minor dispute commenced between members of the MicroWiki community and members of Shireroth.org, exacerbated by Hodgson's distaste for the latter website. The communities on either website had small disputes over the content of each other's wikis, claiming material to have been plagiarised by the other site. After Hodgson's departure from the community in November, Shireroth.org was never mentioned again.

On 18 August, Schneider made a brief return to the wiki to write his now well-known "Word from the Founder" and to appoint Hodgson as an administrator on wiki. Schneider's decision essentially cemented Hodgson's status as the new owner of MicroWiki, albeit unofficially. Despite the promotion, Hodgson's status would be short-lived, as after August his activity on MicroWiki began to decline significantly until November, when Hodgson finally departed from the wiki and Satirocity dissolved. With Hodgson gone, Tallini became the foremost editor of the wiki and a soft power in the community, sharing this status alongside—albeit to a lesser extent—the physical Republic of Bolsvandia and geofiction Republic of Lucastan.

Tallini

2007 is a seemingly forgotten year, with smaller levels of activity on the wiki and in the MicroWiki community as a whole. The year was dominated by Tallini and his eccentric projects, theories and philosophies on micronationalism and so-called "micronationalist theory". He advertised his independent overlay network that was "free from government control" and governed by his own Cesidian law. His most notable endeavours in the MicroWiki community included the Fifth World Community—a community of "ectogeographic" micronations (ectogeographic meaning a populated place that is "truly outside of geography")—and an apparent "supermicronation" called the United Micronations Multi-Oceanic Archipelago—founded on 19 January 2008.

Foreshadowing

Influential micronationalists during the "foreshadowing period": (left to right) Joe Foxon, Daniel Blackburn, Jacob Tierney, Harry Meek, and Kalvin Koolidge.

Robert Lethler, creator of the hoax micronation the Democratic People's Republic of Erusia, arrived in the MicroWiki community on 4 October 2008, followed by Kalvin Koolidge, President of Petorio, on 12 October, Jacob Tierney (now Valentine), Tsar Royalé of Scientopia, on 15 October, and Joe Foxon, King of Stigistan, on 17 October. The physical Hontui Sector, founded in October by Foxon and consisting of Stigistan, Danburnia, Tozland, Jonnyland and the less influential Kirbland and Lesbo's Land, grew exceptional influence over the community, with Foxon establishing the Countries United in National Trade (an intentional vulgar backronym for the British profanity CUNT) on 18 October. Purposed with asserting "peaceful relations between micronations and for the representatives of micronations to express the people's opinions," non-Huntui Sector micronation Scientopia joined in mid-November, however left due to unspecified reasons, and Tozland (then the Land of Toz Boz) became a member state. Danburnia and Jonnyland both became member states of the CUNT on 28 November following the conclusion of the Stigistan–Danburnia war.

However, on the same day, Tozland was ejected from the organisation after President Harry Meek reportedly posted "offensive comments on the Stigistan and Danburnia Wikia pages." This led to Daniel Blackburn, President of Danburnia, vandalising the MicroWiki article for Stigistan in protest of the Land of Toz Boz's expulsion. The following day, both Danburnia and Jonnyland withdrew from the CUNT in protest and created a rival breakaway organisation with Tozland called the Hontui Islands in Peace (HIP). Petorio became a new member and Scientopia rejoined the CUNT in support of Stigistan against the HIP. However, through diplomatic talks, both organisations were at relative peace by mid-December.

On 5 January 2009, Tierney founded the Grand Unified Micronational (GUM) as the Grand United Micronation, which he called a "a prospective future union made up of separate sectors, or councils, that manage different areas of micronational culture," announcing his plans for councils to be elected positions, as well as hinting at his belief that the GUM should hold a hegemony over the MicroWiki community. He initially invited all member states of the CUNT and the HIP to become members, as well as Erusia, the Kingdom of Camuria, the Ohio Empire and St.Charlie, with Foxon announcing later that day that member states of the CUNT would decide as a whole whether or not it wished to join the GUM. Within a week, the GUM proved successful, despite objections by Blackburn of Camuria's membership, with all invited micronations (aside from Erusia)[b] accepting the invitation and becoming member states, including the CUNT and the HIP, albeit hesitantly so. The CUNT and HIP both eventually dissolved, with the former organisation formally integrating into the GUM around 17 January, a move that essentially ended the Hontui Sector's influence. By 10 January, tensioning growing between members of the Hontui Sector reached the GUM, with a particular focus on the Stigistan-Kirbland conflict and growing diplomatic tensions between Danburnia and Tozland, and on 23 January the occupation of Anzacia by Camuria (later revealed to be fabricated) became a main issue for the GUM.

Conflict Era

The Great Micronational Antarctic War saw a large number of micronations and the GUM unite against Westarctica in support of Flandrensis

The Great Micronational Antarctic War broke out between the Grand Duchy of Flandrensis and the Grand Duchy of Westarctica on 29 January 2009 over overlapping territorial claims. Grand Duke of Flandrensis Nicholas I requested political aid from the GUM, which later agreed to support Flandrensis. The conflict subsequently grew to encompass the majority of the MicroWiki community, all siding with Flandrensis. On 18 February, the GUM published a dossier exposing Camuria as an imaginary country fabricated by its leader Ian Forrest. Nevertheless, due to a web of military alliances Ian had built up for Camuria within the community, he remained a prominent and influential figure, and would eventually take a leading role in the events of Black March. Beginning on 7 March with the declaration of the Somplenese-Molossian War, an abnormally high number of other micronational wars broke out during March, leading to a huge deterioration in bilateral ties between numerous micronations culminating in a period of intense diplomatic tension that was retroactively dubbed Black March. Black March ended on 23 March with the conclusion of the Meissner-Antifan War between the Empire of New Europe and Scientopia, but diplomatic tensions remained high. During Black March, the reputation of the Empire of Somple was completely tarnished, whilst the GUM continued to grow in influence and St. Charlie, Scientopia, Erusia and New Europe became the micronational superpowers of the community. The GUM later withdrew its support for Flandrensis in the war on 27 May, a few days before the conclusion of the conflict. Two subsequent conflicts – the New Euro-Erusian War between 7–28 July (which began as a result of the Eurogate controversy) and Rhodesian War between 29 July–2 August were ended by efforts from the GUM, further increasing its influence and the influence of Robert Lethler of Erusia in the community, who was a primary mediator in the conflicts who also previously served as the second Chair of the GUM between 13 April–13 July. Furthermore, in mid-2009, The St.Charlian Observer became a highly regarded newspaper within the community, closely followed in reputation by the Flandrensis Times.

Lethler Era

Flag of Erusia: often used to depict Robert Lethler and as a symbol of the Lethler Era
The St.Charlian Observer was the most influential newspaper in the community between mid-2009 to late 2011

By August 2009, both the GUM and Robert Lethler held an hegemony over the community, with the GUM effectively being seen as the community itself during September and October following the collapse of the United Micronations in September. The largest and most influential micronations of the community were all member states of the GUM, and, despite bitter relations between Erusia and St. Charlie due to the journalistic scandal Observergate – which began on 17 September and concluded around 31 October – no major conflicts broke out and overall relations remained stable. Between October and December, many older micronations fell into inactivity while several newer micronations joined the community; Petorio saw several citizens resign or leave the micronation starting in early July, New Scientopia – the successor state to Scientopia – became inactive in September, eventually dissolving on 20 December, and the Kingdom of Finismund dissolved on 1 December, resulting in the Scramble for Finismund after a series of claims were placed on former Finismundi territories by several micronations. A newer arrival, the Most Glorious People's Republic of A1, founded the Organisation of Active Micronations (OAM) on 30 October under Gordon Freeman (also known as Philip Fish) during the GUM's hegemony. However, with older micronations becoming less active and newer micronations choosing instead to become member states of the OAM, this destabilised the status quo and ended the GUM's hegemony over the community by January 2010; for the first time, there is a viable alternative intermicronational organisation in the community. Member states of the OAM, particularly the Republic of Egtavia, Nemkhav Federation, Slinky Parliamentary Monarchy and the Kingdom of Wyvern, slowly grow in influence in the community.

In early 2010, the use of talk pages began to decline at the expense of the OAM forums – an Internet forum – and – to a lesser extent – the newly-established micronational Skype chatrooms. On 7 March, another series of conflicts broke out in an event known as Second Black March. The Austenasian Civil War polarised the community, with many influential micronations backing different sides of the civil war, while conflicts such as the Flaradonian-Solvoian War and Great Patriotic Wars broke out on 9 and 23 March respectively, with neither the GUM nor OAM proving capable of preventing these conflicts. On 2 April, the last foreign supporters of the rebels withdraw from the Austenasian Civil War, thus ending Second Black March. The civil war eventually ended on 24 May following the Austenasian Monarchical Referendum, an idea originally suggested by Robert Lethler during GUM peace talks early into the war. Heavy criticism of the civil war, particularly from the highly influential St.Charlian Observer, greatly discredited the notion of micronational warfare, with most subsequent wars in the community being seen as largely unprofessional and immature. On 8 April, a joint GUM-OAM dossier revealed that Mark Dresner was in fact a sock puppet account deceiving the community, resulting in him being banned from the wiki and socially ousted from the community. On 27 May, the Great Ideological Conflict broke out between the left- (primarily led by Erusia and the State of Sandus) and right- (led by Bradley of Dullahan and the Intermicronational Conservative Alliance) wings of the community, resulting in the Great Ideological Conflict era, a period of political tensions and separation. The GUM struggled to deal with these conflicts, with its influence rapidly declining in June, whereas that of the OAM steadily rose throughout this period. However, the political separation resulted in the June 29th incident in the OAM after Pierre d'Égtavie unexpectedly resigned as Secretary-General, resulting in four left-wing micronations leaving the OAM in protest, including Sandus and Erusia.

Post-Lethler Era

Microball comic mocking Erusia due to the Lethler Experiment, drawn in August 2010
Logo of the MicroWiki forums between 2010–12

On 30 July 2010, it was discovered that Robert Lethler is in actuality a fictional persona, and that his nation Erusia is entirely fabricated, with all its citizens personas controlled by Lethler himself; Lethler called this the Lethler Experiment. He claimed that Erusia was fabricated as part of an experiment of a political simulation, much to the disapproval of the MicroWiki community. The revelation shocked the community and led to mass condemnations, with Erusia subsequently departing from the community after having its reputation completely tarnished. Sandus, a close ally of Erusia, also temporarily departed from the community, coinciding with the temporary departure of major GUM power New Europe; this, alongside the departure of Erusia, resulted in a near-fatal blow to the GUM's influence and activity. In August, the OAM forums became the primary means of communication. This, alongside Skype chatrooms, saw the end of talk page diplomacy. In late August, the first Microball comics were drawn and shared on Skype. On 20 September, the GUM was abandoned after then de facto Chair James von Puchow illegally announced the dissolution of the organisation, with the OAM thus becoming the sole intermicronational organisation in the community. The first OAM Influence Survey is released on 16 October with 13 people voting in total, ostensibly naming St. Charlie the most influential micronation. This was closely followed by A1, Egtavia, the Slinky Parliamentary Monarchy and the Community of Landashir.

In October, Wikia implemented unpopular changes to its website; due to this, on 7 November, the majority of the community moved away from Wikia in a "Mass Exodus" and onto a new domain, MicroWiki.org.uk, created and managed by Pierre d'Égtavie. The domain was paid for annually by running advertisements on the wiki, and all articles on Wikia were imported by a bot. On 17 November, Kyng Fyrst, Kyng of the Slinky Parliamentary Monarchy, was appointed as an administrator on the old Wikia website with the intent of riving it as a separate community from MicroWiki.org.uk. This lead to intense unpopularity, and, together with electoral disputes in his micronation, resulted in the dissolution of the Slinky Parliamentary Monarchy on 17 January 2011. The Slinky War (22–27 January 2011) fought between supporters of Fyrst and supporters of the inevitably short-lived successor state, was the last major war between respected members of the community. Furthermore, in late December 2010, the MicroWiki administration launched the MicroWiki forums, which began to direct users away from the OAM forums. Simultaneously, users of the OAM forums also began to switch to using the growing Skype chatrooms.

Decline of the OAM

Attendees of the 2011 Intermicronational Summit, the first micronational summit to take place between members of the MicroWiki community

On 21 December 2010, Gordon Freeman resigned as Vice Secretary-General of the OAM and took a break from the community after the Linden Affair, in which Sebastian Linden addressed Freeman by his real name during an argument on the OAM forums. Freeman denounced this as a breach of privacy and began a campaign to ostracise Linden from the community by having him banned from MicroWiki, an issue which divided the community for several months to come. In February 2011, Aldrich Lucas of the Students' Isocratic Oligarchy of Yabloko, a highly active administrator who made thousands of edits per month, became extremely influential over MicroWiki. Additionally, Freeman returned in February. On 26 February, the administration took the side of Freeman in the Linden Affair, and banned Linden from the wiki. However, this consequently resulted in intense tension and debate between supporters of Freeman and Linden, with the faction in support of Linden attempting to create a loose "anti-admin movement," calling for the wiki's administration to be held more accountable for their actions. In March, tension erupted over the OAM, which lost its monolithic presence over the community due to the MicroWiki forums, as well as due to growing dislike of Freeman. Criticism of the OAM's purpose and scope increased in intensity during the following months; many claimed that the OAM had achieved little and was maintained simply as a means for Freeman to maintain influence in the community. This, along with what was perceived by many as instances of religious bigotry from Freeman, resulted in a closely-failed (by a single vote) motion of no confidence against Freeman in June. The first episode of Micro High was released by the Federal Commonwealth of Sirocco on 19 April, and received critical acclaim. On 14 June, twelve member states left the OAM in protest at his refusal to resign, and in mid- to late June two short-lived breakaway organisations were formed – the Organization of United Micronations and Inter-Micronational Union. On 20 July, Linden was unbanned from the wiki following vocal opposition, while the influence of the OAM continued to decline, with levels of activity rapidly dropping. Dissatisfied with the OAM, former members of the GUM restored it to activity on 14 August, but decided to initially keep this a secret from the wider community; these three micronationalists would become known as the Troika due to their influential exhibited over the GUM in the forthcoming two years. Meanwhile, the much anticipated 2011 Intermicronational Summit took place in London on 24 August between 11 micronationalists, the first micronational summit to take place between members of the MicroWiki community.

Inter-Summit Era

Personal depiction used by Aldrich Lucas – once a community leader, he was ostracised following Yablokogate

On 6 September 2011, Yablokogate broke out following the publication of a dossier by Robert Lethler – who briefly returned to MicroWiki to publish the document – in which he demanded the immediate removal of Aldrich Lucas from the MicroWiki staff and the ostracising of his micronation, Yabloko, from the community, claiming to have uncovered a conspiracy of Lucas possessing an ulterior motive. The document became intensely debated and caused widespread confusion and concern amongst the community, with growing levels of mistrust and accusations amongst supporters of Lucas and Lethler of secrecy, bickering and manipulation. Meanwhile, the re-foundation of the GUM became public knowledge. As calm was eventually restored in mid-November, TASPAC, an organisation which was heavily involved in the controversy by defending Yabloko with the help of two rogue GUM members, became regarded as secretive and conspiring by most of the community. This, along with the continuing decline of the OAM, helped to lead to an increasing level of membership and influence within the GUM. On 29 December, after several months of declining activity and influence, the OAM formally dissolved. Meanwhile, the GUM flourished, amending its constitution and restoring its levels of activity and membership to the same levels as during the Lethler Era. On 20 February 2012, Lucas was voted out as a MicroWiki administrator. Lucas, outraged by this, vandalised the MicroWiki forums which subsequently led to his account being deleted from MicroWiki. He had made 28,632 edits to the wiki. He formally departed from the community that same month. In April, a new community formed on the old Wikia website to rival MicroWiki by claiming to be the "true MicroWiki", causing a feud between the wiki on MicroWiki.org.uk and the community which had moved to the original Wikia website. Ultimately, it gained little members.

Settled Era

Early Settled period and Wyvernian Controversy

Yaroslav Mar (left) and Bradley of Dullahan (right), key figures in the 2012-13 GUM leadership scandal

PoliNation 2012 took place in London on 14 July 2012 between 32 micronationalists, with several micronationalists unaffiliated with the MicroWiki Sector also in attendance, including the Republic of Molossia, Empire of Atlantium and Aerican Empire. As of 2022, it remains the largest micronational summit ever convened in the MicroWiki community. On 14 August, the GUM held a 24 Hour Quorum which saw 41 micronationalists attend. During the quorum, £80.95 ($128 USD) was raised for various charities, especially the British Red Cross. Jacob Tierney's fourth term as Chair of the GUM ended on 13 September 2013, thus ending the influence of the Troika with not one of them holding one of the three main leadership positions in the GUM. Tensions would once again rise, as during September and October frequent comments perceived as xenophobic or discriminatory by Quentin I and Bradley of Dullahan, both leaders of Wyvern, resulted in diplomatic conflict between Wyvern and other micronations such as Sandus, Juclandia and the Grand Duchy of Prsänëa, and on 21 October, a motion to remove Bradley of Dullahan from the GUM Official Diplomatic Staff for alleged racism failed. The diplomatic conflict led to frequent arguments between the two sides, primarily over Skype. On 16 December, Sandus and Juclandia, both full members of the GUM, demoted themselves to observership status in protest after Bradley was appointed Vice-Chair of the newly elected Chairman, Yaroslav Mar. On 30 December, both micronations were expelled from the organisation following a motion proposed by Mar, which he passed the before all delegates had a chance to vote, resulting in the 2012-13 GUM leadership scandal. Accusations of corruption and underhand motives resulted in Mar and Bradley both resigning on 19 January 2013, leading to a heavy blow to the reputation of the GUM.

Growing inactivity

Following the scandal, arguments within the community begin to die down. During the first half of the year, activity on MicroWiki also greatly decreased at the expense of informal communication over Facebook groups and Skype chatrooms. The 2013 Intermicronational Summit took place in Paris between 15–20 July between seven micronationalists, also making it the longest micronational summit ever held. Worry grew over the lack of diplomatic relations taking place in the community and the presence of individuals deemed disruptive and unprofessional in Skype chatrooms and Facebook groups. This coincided with growing worry about the upkeep of the MicroWiki website amidst financial shortfalls, as the declining site visits meant running advertisements on the website were no longer profitable. On 7 November, after initial uncertainty about the future of the community, MicroWiki transferred to Micronation.org, and MediaWiki software was installed. In early 2014, tensions began to rise once more between the left- and right-wings of the community, however over social rather than economic issues, with disputes breaking out over matters such as freedom of speech and gender identity. The website was bought from Pierre d'Égtavie by Jonathan I, Emperor of Austenasia on 13 May 2014. Diplomatic activity remained at generally low levels, but the small, informal summit Midsummer Micronational Meeting 2014 took place in London on 21 June, seeing five attendees.

Polarised Era

The logo of the GUM between 2016 to 2021
The second 24 Hour Quorum raised about £105 (USD$140) for charities, and united much of the community under a single event

The promulgation of the Denton Protocol concerning LGBT rights on 27 July 2014 by Sandus and the Kingdom of Zealandia resulted in a large backlash from right-wing members of the community and an open breach between the left- and right-wings, with the left-wing losing its moral hegemony over the community. The following period saw the conversion of several members of the community to Christianity, as well as the abandoning of socialism by many of its former adherents; a previous stereotype of MicroWiki being populated mainly by communist atheists becomes impossible to apply. MicroWiki celebrated its tenth anniversary on 27 May 2015. On 14 June, after a long period of declining activity, the GUM abolished its functions as an intergovernmental organisation, transitioning instead into a formal chatroom between individuals. Another informal summit, the Midsummer Micronational Meeting 2015, was held in London on 18 July, seeing five attendees. As tensions between the left- and right-wings of the community continued to grow, being partially exacerbated by socially conservative public statements by citizens of the Empire of Pavlov and the Federal Republic of Lostisland, most members of the community settled in one of two camps: one based on the MicroWiki forums comprised of younger, more left-wing members of the community and the other based on the community's Skype and Facebook groups comprised of older, more right-wing members. This worsen after an open breach developed between the older ("Old Guard") and newer ("New Guard")[c] users of the wiki as the latter reacted to a prank pulled on a new user by some of the Old Guard on 3 October.

The Intermicronational economics boom of 2016 – a period intense development in micronational economics, particularly in intermicronational economics – began in March 2016 with the creation of the Micronational dollar by Anthony R. Clark and financial institution Hiddleston Street by Henry Clémens. On 4 June, the GUM was reformed as an intergovernmental organisation in an attempt to restore diplomatic contact between the Old and New Guards, with a new Chair elected on 25 June. On 21 October, MicroWiki switched to its current domain, micronations.wiki, after complications with the domain host. Starting in February 2017, some members of the Old Guard became less active due to non-micronational demands, such as pursuing careers and education. Meanwhile, tensions between the left- and right-wings of the community continued to die down in early 2017, although the MicroWiki forums saw a large amount of disruption from two users in particular, who started ideological and diplomatic disputes between themselves and others which often became a prominent issue for many. Both were essentially ostracised from the community later into 2017. The GUM united much of the community with the successful holding of a second 24 Hour Quorum between the 6–7 May, which saw 33 micronationalists participate and raise about £105 (USD$140) for charities.

Stagnant Era

Starting in May 2017, diplomatic division between the Old and New Guards began to die down, with many older members of the community leaving its traditional venues and those which remain forming closer ties with newer members. After a relatively quiet few months, August saw the start of two intertwined controversies – the proclamation of the New Community – formed to be a separate or parallel MicroWiki community – and a diplomatic dispute between Austenasia and the Grand Republic of Delvera. Both issues died down by 5 September. In the following months, activity in the GUM, on the MicroWiki forums and in associated Skype chatrooms dropped to an all-time low. Concerns were voiced publicly about the future of the GUM as community members discussed ways to restore activity. In early 2018, all activity on the MicroWiki forums effectively died, and the Abeldane Empire, previously the largest community micronation, struggled to maintain its government amidst limited participation. Also in early 2018, the community saw the arrival of several new micronationalists, retroactively dubbed the 2018 Intake. On 27 May, the server MicroClub was founded on Discord by Nicholas Randouler of Posaf, Austin Jaax of Iustus, and Nicolás Millán of Millania, collectively known as the "B3" (big three). Within a month it became one of the largest micronational Discord servers, becoming more active than most of the Skype chatrooms. The Wrythe Convention, which condemns sockpuppeting, identity theft and false claims within micronationalism, was unveiled on 15 September. After being signed in-person by representatives from several micronations at Wrythe, Austenasia, it received 38 signatories in total by the end of the year.

Early Discord Era

2018–19

Adam I, Emperor of Adammia was declared DIME Magazine's "Micronationalist of the Year" for 2019 due to his work in the GUM

On 17 September 2018, in an initiative led by Anthony Clark on behalf of the MicroWiki administration, the Discord server MicroWiki@Discord was created. Widely advertised on the inactive Skype chatrooms, the server immediately skyrocketed in popularity, quickly overtaking MicroClub to become the principal Discord server of the MicroWiki community. On 31 October, MicroWikia formally renounced its claim as the "true MicroWiki" after being persuaded by Jonathan I, with the community officially changing its name to MicroNations Fandom and ending the six-year long dispute. The GUM transferred to Discord in November, which helped revitalise activity within the organisation. Abelden is also revived, once again becoming a community micronation. By the start of 2019, any remaining minuscule communities on Skype became obsolete, with most fully integrated into their own Discord servers. The GUM held a third 24 Hour Quorum between 4-5 January to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the organisation's founding. The GUM partnered with the Austenasian Order of Saint Constantine for the event to raise money for UNICEF, and had 36 participants.

Statistic-Dime, founded in January as Statistic-Fire, introduced Micronationalist of the Month and various positively-received surveys. The first summit to be held between micronationalists of the Czech sector, Podskalský Congress, took place on 23 March, and had eight attendees, while the 2019 GUM Birmingham Summit, the first micronational summit hosted and organised by the GUM, took place in Birmingham on 28 June, and had 12 attendees. It saw the signing of the Edgbaston Convention. On the same day, Elizabeth Lewis resigned from a controversial role as an administrator on MicroWiki@Discord. This happened during the decline of MicroWiki@Discord, which saw many fearing the formation of a gap between micronationalists who arrived during the Discord Era and the Old Guard, with the latter bemoaning an atmosphere of unprofessionalism as the Discord server became dominated by various memes and in-jokes. The non-MicroWiki sector MicroCon 2019, held between 19–21 July, became the largest micronational summit in history with 113 attendees; also in attendance were several members from the MicroWiki community. Several micronationalists expressed sympathy and regret in response to the dissolution of the Aarianian Union of North America on 25 September. By late 2019, the Old Guard tended to use alternative servers to MicroWiki@Discord, with some seeing the Discord server for the GUM as a safe haven from its unprofessionalism; in addition, the GUM regained its status as the principal intermicronational organisation of the community, with it reaching a record 35 member states and being regarded as highly prestigious. Adam I, Emperor of Adammia's term as Chairman between 31 December 2018–30 June 2019 received praise, with some regarding it as one of the greatest in the GUM's history. His work in the GUM saw him selected as DIME Magazine's "Micronationalist of the Year" for 2019.

2020

Nicholas Randouler (2004–2020)

The 2020 MOF Games hosted by the Micronational Olympic Federation between 14 February–10 March became the largest e-sports event in the MicroWiki community's history, with 19 micronations attending. The decline of MicroWiki@Discord reached a catalyst with the outbreak of the MicroWiki@Discord Administrative Protests of 2020 on 16 February – a protest against the MicroWiki@Discord administration which saw the involvement of nearly 30 users. Despite this, the protest ultimately resulted in no new developments. The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in micronational summits becoming difficult to hold, with overall activity in the MicroWiki community increasing as COVID-19 lockdowns were imposed between March–April. Additionally, several prominent former micronationalists, such as James Stewart and Henry Clémens, temporarily came out of retirement due to the pandemic. Pavlov and the Principality of Montescano (with the micronations and their supporters colloquially known as the "Pavlov clique") returned to the community in April, with their opposition towards LGBT rights, particularly transgender issues, frequently attracting controversy, with the latter being accused of racist and sexist remarks during a controversy in that month. On 9 April, the Morrisgate scandal (also known as Danosgate) caused large disruption in the community as Daniel Morris was accused of making inappropriate comments regarding a minor. While his ousting was supported by many, the handling of the situation from the MicroWiki@Discord administration and the GUM received backlash. By May, the Cupertino Alliance (CA) began to become a large intermicronational organisation amongst the New Guard amidst a growing anti-GUM sentiment, especially under the Chairmanship of Jayden Lycon.

Meanwhile, the GUM organised a fourth 24 Hour Quorum between 1–2 May in order to raise money for COVID-19 relief via the British Red Cross. The quorum had 64 participants in total – due to allowing non-members to participate as guests – who together raised £266 (USD#349) as the event received praise within the community. On 15 May, Abelden joined the GUM following an historic referendum, while a failed coup d'état in Misberia on 23 May asserted the micronation's influence in the community as several micronationalists came to its aid. Criticisms of toxicity and unprofessionalism on MicroWiki@Discord harshened between June–July, after a number of alternative servers were set up, with Micropolitan@Discord becoming the most viable alternative. The community was hit with an outpouring of grief after the death of Nicholas Randouler on 3 June, with declarations of days of national mourning, places named after him, memorial services, posthumous awards and memorial videos, later being named Statistic-Dime's "Micronationalist of the Year" for 2020 in December. On 10 July, Abelden took a massive hit as a result of the Concordiagate scandal. Between September–October, multiple senior administrators resigned from MicroWiki@Discord as other users continued to move to alternative servers and private social clubs, and on 1 November an unsuccessful attempt was made by the administration to turn MicroWiki@Discord into a simple web portal and news aggregator, thus effectively dissolving its functions as a Discord server intended for discussion. However, backlash from users quickly led to this change being reverted in early December. At the end of the year, MicroWiki saw record page views, with its individual worldwide readership in 2020 reaching 1.8 million.

2021

The election of Jack Dean of the Commonwealth of Essexia as Chair of the GUM on 1 January 2021 over candidate Adam I was seen by many as an example of the growing influence of newer community members over the Old Guard. In February, the CA, now without Lycon as Chair, hit a minor slump of inactivity amidst internal conflict, before returning to a high level of activity in May. On 21 March, the GUM adopted a new, modernised charter as an amendment to the previous 2016 Charter, receiving 100% support among the 41 members who voted (out of 45 total). The inactivity of Abelden early into the year briefly resulted in the Commonwealth of New Virginia taking over as the principal community micronation – albeit a much smaller nation – however an attempted coup d'etat between 29 July–2 August led to the micronation's rapid decline.

Modern Era

After a controversial user was unbanned from MicroWiki on 30 January 2022, a petition calling for his re-banning and the resignation of the administrator who unbanned him reached over one hundred signatures. In support of the petition, Abrams Wiucki-Dunswed banned thousands of users from MicroWiki@Discord after discovering a backdoor vulnerability via one of the server's Discord bots. This led to the administration creating a new MicroWiki server, this time focusing solely on the wiki.

See also

References

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Explanatory notes

  1. Used to a lesser extent.
  2. Erusia did not join the GUM until later in mid-January.
  3. In its present definition, the nebulous terms 'Old Guard' and 'New Guard' refer to "older members of the MicroWiki community" and "newer members of the MicroWiki community" respectively. Hereinafter, the terms are used to refer to generational divides, with the Old Guard representing the status quo, and the New Guard representing newer, more untraditional ideas.

Cited sources

External links

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