Why Phallic Acid Disappeared

November 20th, 2009

If you’ve been a Figment user for the last few months you know the band Phallic Acid.  You’ve seen them release a series of successful albums, launch a North American tour, and maintain a virtual lock on the Hot Albums chart for the past few months.  In return, you, the Figment community, rewarded them with sales, positive reviews and support for whatever new venture they were involved with at the moment.  In short, you trusted them as fellow players.  Unfortunately, that trust was broken.

Earlier this week, we confirmed that TheOldCougs was using multiple accounts to buy/listen to his own albums and in doing so artificially driving Phallic Acid and their albums up the charts.  In short, he was cheating.

For any of you who have taken the time to read Figment’s Terms & Conditions, and I recommend you do, the creation of multiple accounts and/or the use of someone else’s account is NOT allowed.  Of course, we understand that most people don’t take the time to read the fine print. Even so, no one we’ve caught doing this has been surprised it’s against the rules, or claimed they thought it was okay to create as many accounts as they want.  As a result, we always issue a warning on the first offense.  The second time it occurs however,  our policy is to delete their primary account and ban them from the site.  In the almost 3 years that Figment has been online we’ve only had to delete users on a handful of occasions.

In the case of  TheOldCougs he was warned not once but twice.  While he contends that the accounts he used were originally set up by his friends in good faith, he doesn’t dispute the fact that when his friends refused to maintain their support of Phallic Acid he took matters into his own hands and began using their accounts for his own purposes.

When approached we must say he was very honest and owned up to his deception immediately, which is usually how this kind of thing goes.  After hearing his side of things, we considered following through with our usual protocol, but given his confession and willingness to bear the repercussions of his actions, we decided to offer him a reprieve in the form of “probation”.

After considering the specific probationary terms we offered, he told us he didn’t deserve the probation and the more we thought about it, the more we agreed.

So what’s the end result?  Well, TheOldCougs is no longer a Figment user and Phallic Acid no longer exists.  We wish him well and according to him it’s reciprocal.  If anything this situation emphasizes how important trust and integrity are to a game and community like Figment.

If anyone would like to voice an opinion on what happened or our policies in general we welcome your feedback, so feel free to leave a comment on this post or send us an email via the feedback link at the bottom of every page on Figment.

5 Responses to “Why Phallic Acid Disappeared”

  1. frizbee Says:

    I always had a feeling something funny was going on with those guys. Don’t get me wrong, I was happy for them and their success, but it just seemed so quick. I knew something had to be going on. Especially when they suddenly dominated the Hot Albums chart. I’ve never fully understood why GothZilla still holds the top spot for most fans, because nothing has ever come of them besides one album of covers, but it just struck me as even stranger that Phallic Acid came out of nowhere and quickly raced to the top. I originally got their first album just to see what the fuss was about, but I quickly wrote them off as a gimmick. Granted, there’s nothing wrong with gimmicks(i.e. Kiss, Slipknot, etc.), but their gimmick just seemed forced. At first I assumed that PA was using “ringer fans” to boost their sales and street cred, but it seemed that most of their fans had also purchased other albums besides theirs, which makes it a little less obvious that you’re cheating. I had created a second Figment account at one point, but not in an attempt to generate more sales for myself. My intent was to create another account and use it to release the “leaked” Eccentric Arcade album. That way it would play up the fact that some random person had stolen and leaked the album. Eric quickly alerted me to the fact that this was not allowed, and I deleted the account right away. It’s sad that a band who had such a following and such potential had to disappear, because I’m sure they will be missed. But it’s even more sad that they had to achieve their following and their potential by faking it.

  2. David Stone Says:

    I think it was almost unrealistic how Phallic Acid got so big, but then again, some of the success might have been deserved b/c they were so great! But then again TheOldCougs was super cool to all of the other figment users practically and he supported us all (giving some of us lots of lucre for listening to all of our stuff).

    We’ll miss him for now and hope that he can one day return with another great band!!!

  3. theHoseman Says:

    It never occurred to me that he was cheating. My main annoyance was the fact that a majority of the fans were not contributing anything to the site except to buy Phallic Acid albums. Most of them had no bands of their own and did not buy any other bands albums. That all being said, I agree with the above comment, that TheOldCougs was fun, and he did buy/review a lot of stuff. Very cool. (though I will admit, I think there are several people on the site creating a lot cooler stuff than Phallic Acid.)

  4. frizbee Says:

    I agree with you, Hoseman. TheOldCougs seemed like a cool guy, and he certainly helped increase people’s lucre, but all in all I didn’t think of Phallic Acid as anything terribly original.

  5. Opisthotropis' Manager Says:

    In remembrance of the times we had with Phallic Acid, don’t forget to check out Opisthotropis’ special edition release of ‘I Bleed Venom’ which contains live songs off of PA’s last tour with Figment.

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