2020-5-13: The GameFAQs Persona 2 Saga

In October 2011, ThatGuy4913 of GameFAQs, evidently dissatisfied with spoilers on existing walkthroughts, wrote a guide for Persona 2 on the PSP.

This guide was part of the "FAQ Bounty" program, which oversimplifying means he had got a financial reward for writing it, in exchange for providing the site a permanent right to use it. (Note that the rules had been changed later).

All went well for 8 years and counting, until GrahamSig noticed the author had, well, changed their religious orientation.

Screenshot of footer of the edited guide

Then the users noticed, and started questioning whether there was any foul play. Acoording to Error1355:

Message board ToU isn't enforced on FAQs, as the FAQ isn't a message posted on the message boards.

Also the message, while bat-shit insane, isn't really vulgar or wild. The site admins had to approve it for the update to get posted anyway (IIRC, I haven't submitted a guide in a LONG-ASS time), and if you read the beginning of that message combined with this from earlier in the guide:

*: See full comments at end. I submitted this FAQ under the FAQ Bounty program years ago and can't remove it myself. If you're a moderator who can remove this guide and understands my frustration, I would greatly appreciate a removal or a petition to remove this guide. Besides all I mention, this game is ridiculously easy and there are probably plenty of guides by now. No one will miss it.

It seems like it was a compromise to allow the author to make his current (bat-shit insane) view on the game since he's not legally allowed to pull it off the site due to whatever that FAQ Bounty program contract was.

Then the large blogs noticed...

And finally, SBAllen noticed:

Howdy all. Today, I came across an article written about a guide on GameFAQs. In this article, it was mentioned that the author of the guide has had a change of heart about the guide he wrote due to religious reasons. It also stated that the guide remained on the site due to it having being written as a part of our FAQ Bounty program, in which we pay authors to write guides for games in return for us being allowed to host the guide in perpetuity.

We have in the past removed a small handful of bounty guides for various reasons, most often due to a reasonable request by the author. In this particular case, the author never actually asked us to remove the guide. He originally asked us to remove his name from the guide, which we did. He then asked to be able to edit the guide, which we facilitated. Then, he made the now famous edit to the guide.

These exchanges happened starting in April and if at any point in time, the author had simply explained this situation to us, we would have been more than happy to remove the guide. Since he did not, we simply complied with his requests as we would any other normal author request.

Now that we're aware of the issue, we've removed the guide. In the future, we would encourage authors to simply contact us and let us know that they want a guide removed rather than go through the extreme of altering a live guide in this manner. We'd also encourage article writers to contact us if they want to publish an article about us of this nature so we can offer up a response (and in this case, could have just gone ahead and removed the guide).