Hello! I know it's been a while, but I wanted to make sure your concerns were addressed.
The truth is, these pranks have been carefully plotted to ensure no destructive consequences occur. For this prank in particular, Hans took thought to make sure no one actually believed him. He planned beforehand that he would move the post to the Deepfake topic, which negates any risk of bamboozling newbies. He knew everyone would figure it out, which everyone did, but in the case they didn't, he also planned to make an announcement of the truth.
Also, I've got to stress that Community Moderators are members of the community as well. We are not Staff, so we have more freedoms. Given the careful way in which this prank was executed, no Community Moderator standards were violated.
Our other pranks, such as joking about being related to each other and/or being next door neighbors (which I'm not saying isn't true ) have no impact on anything besides creating a funny rumor and potential role-play plots.
These pranks most definitely take place in the spirit of the old forums. They have been purely an attempt at providing some entertainment.
I hope that helps answer your concerns. Please let me know if you have further thoughts on the subject; we take your input seriously.
When this idea came to the table, I went on a mission to answer my own questions. All of them were answered in quite positive ways, and they have been doubly proven in the last few months Hans has been a moderator. So, the answer is a definite yes.
I am sorry you are questioning the decision, but I hope you will honor it in spite of that. Please reach out to me if you want to talk about anything; you know I’m available and I’d like to help if I can!