“Never”. That’s a very, very long time.
You got it. Permabanned.
If you look at the dates, you’ll see that my previous temporary ban from CF was at the end of September. I came back after that little spat and started merrily posting again…right up until the second slap today, about 3 months later.
So, I guess you can look at that timeframe in a couple of ways:
1. I obviously tried to follow the rules to some degree…doing well enough to stay out of actual trouble for 3 months.
2. It took a couple of these CF mods a very long time to finally figure out how to actually get it done.
The funniest part? During the melee, I was told by a reliable source via private message that they were actually thinking of asking me to be a mod!!! I am not kidding!
OH THE HUMANITY!
But more about that later.
So what the hell happened? Well strap in…this is a good one.
Now, to start, I want to be clear that, though I’ve seen a couple of people claim this, I WAS NOT AT ALL TRYING TO GET BANNED. Actually, the opposite. Being banned from a forum gains me absolutely nothing.
Yes, I did want to push the moderation a bit to learn more about it as I said before, but I actually made an effort to abide by CF’s very arbitrary rules as best I could. No, I was not going to change my posting personality just to stick around (that will never happen) – but I was being very careful to keep my posts and responses on-topic and factual and within the rules – as defined by how those around me were abiding by them themselves (mods and members alike). This is why I lasted 3 months in the kill-zone.
The bottom line problem was that a couple of the CF Mods just couldn’t bear it. It all started in earnest with more name-calling…in this case, by ModAVB. Remember my spanking for using the general terms “Chuckleheads” and “Morons”? Deleted posts, warnings, infractions, strikes, and bannings all broke out with those outrageous terms. Yet, CF Mods, you see, can call people names all day long if they so desire.
Here’s how it went down:
Within a couple of days of my glorious post-ban return, I used the fairly common acronym for the “Blue Water Crowd”…or “BWC” in one of my posts. Unsurprisingly, this seemed to really bother the same mod who seems to always be a bit bothered, Coops.
So – “BWC” is the same as using that dreaded, ban-worthy word “Chucklehead”?
It was obvious that I was being watched like a hawk. So, okay, I’ll toe your line. If ANY kind of “name calling” whatsoever is against those rules that the mods are “sworn to uphold” – I’ll chill.
Then, a few days later some of the bitter CF dudes that seem to get away with anything they want started in with their own name calling. Now, it’s important to remember that I HAVE NEVER REPORTED A SINGLE POST in all the years I’ve been on sailing forums. I do my talking in public. I don’t hide. Yet, the CF Mods were insisting via PM that that is what I had to do – or be sanctioned again (it was the rules, you know).
In fact, I got yet another PM from ModWeavis when I responded very calmly to being called a “troll” by robertsailor in the “Yard Guys” thread. ModWeavis saw my reply in that thread and deleted it and sent me this PM – (you see Robert’s “troll” comment and my response from the thread in the PM below – along with my response to ModWeavis):
I’m the problem here? And this “be nice” path is what you’re walking ModWeavis? Really? Sorry, dude, none of this is passing the smell test. But it wasn’t over.
A couple of weeks later came yet another flourish of wildly hypocritical hubris…no not by me, but by yet another CF moderator, AVB3 in my “Yard Guys” thread as I mentioned above:
Now, a couple of interesting things. First, you’ll notice that, yet again, it’s in my “Yard Guys” thread…which will be eventually locked by ModWeavis (below) – not because of me – but because of these guys who can’t help but fan flames. Yet, it’s a CF Moderator who starts it all off – by calling people who like a double-helm “posers”. And I’m still the bad guy. Sorry, pal.
I called AVB out on this in the thread – you know, “reporting it directly to a moderator”. My post was deleted. Then I received a PM from him and had the following exchange:
Now, remember what I said in the original Ban Stick post about the most dangerous rule CF has regarding moderation? No public discussion? Now you see exactly why I said it’s dangerous. Says the CF Mod, “I can do what I want and you can’t say a word about it out there where people see it. So screw you.”
Then, to compound things, a few hours later I received the following from ModCoops:
So, yet again, the CF Mods can get away with whatever they want…including the exact same thing I get sanctioned and banned for. This is fair moderation? Oh, I think not.
Yet, I left it here and kept posting. The next day I received yet another post deletion from ModNoelex from my continued participation in the “Yard Guys” thread:
Now, ModNoelex was much more reasonable than the others had been. He gave me a chance to address my sins and repost if I wanted instead of just deleting the post outright as the others had done – which sucked because some of those posts had taken a bit of time to put together.
But where exactly was the “personal attack” on another member? I actually assumed in my post that AVB was not, in fact, slow or dim. Is it actually an “attack” to state that you think someone is smarter than they are letting on?
Wait – maybe he thought I was attacking AVB by calling him a “poser” with his own quote? That’s definitely “rude name calling”…so, yeah, maybe that was it.
Okay. So, I cleaned out the offending parts and reposted…because ModNoel was right – it was some brilliant stuff…as usual.
A couple of days later, on 12/04 I heard through the grapevine that the CF Mod team was now in disarray – largely due to me. Some of the new mods were apparently being dressed-down by the rest of the team and/or told to hit the road for being out of line. I was told that most of the team was “on my side” – and that I just needed to lay off ModWeavis and ModAVB. Whatever. I agreed…but with the caveat that all bets were off if they continued to troll me. They needed to back the hell off.
Now, I’m not going to post those particular PMs because I don’t want to out the member that let me know this stuff – and because it’s not an issue of moderation, just a heads-up. There was good intent behind it, and it certainly seemed to be accurate info.
The most troubling part, though, was that I was told that ModAVB and ModWeavis were now “gunning” for me but were going to be careful so that I could be taken down “cleanly” by higher-ups. That it had turned “personal” for them because there was “not a lot to get me on”. Damn right.
Seeing the trend? I was definitely intrigued now. I’ve been around forums long enough to know that if a team of moderators is fighting with each other it’s because the issue has become personal. It’s no longer “moderation” – because I wasn’t stepping over any line enough to deserve a banning. It’s something worse. Some moderators desperately want to pull that trigger just because they can’t stand having a member that won’t cow-tow to them, but calmer heads see that it is not warranted. Hence, the disarray. If I’d truly deserved it, there would have been no question among the team. But I didn’t.
So, this had now moved from bad moderation to petty vendetta by some power-drunk nutbirds – unfortunately sanctioned by Cruisers Forum. But that’s cool. I was ready to play.
The “game” started while I was on vacation and not posting. A couple of these same goofballs started further trashing my “Yard Guys” thread by attacking the posters – thus requiring more “moderation”. This lead to, you guessed it, ModWeavis locking my thread with this beauty of a statement:
Remember, I wasn’t posting in the thread at the time – so I had nothing to do with this. So, there are two fundamental problems here:
1. It’s never the place of a moderator to declare that “every aspect of a subject has been covered”. That’s up to the members – not the moderators. If the members feel everything has been said, they won’t pay attention to the thread anymore and it will sink beneath the waves. The moderators job is to simply moderate. Period.
2. Apparently, a couple of members with an agenda can trash a thread they don’t like and get it locked. Really? Isn’t that putting the power into the hands of exactly the wrong people?
This was all obviously going downhill fast. I fired off a PM to another mod named SaucySailoress. Since the last debacle when I PM’d the entire team, she had asked me to copy her on all PMs with any CF Mods. So, I decided to go straight to her on this one.
And she responded with what I thought was a very fair reply which I respect (with my last response to her included here):
Okay, so it appeared that the “Yard Guys” thread lock, ridiculous though it might have been, was a done deal. Fair enough. It’s not my forum. So, I moved on.
Things went fine for next week or two. I started another wildly popular thread – Production Boats Fit For Blue Water – and was participating on a couple of others where the Hunter-bashers were busy doing their silly little thing. But it was cool. No big bombs. No PMs from Mods.
Until, that is, ModWeavis couldn’t take it any more and, out of the blue, posted this in my new Production Boats thread:
What the hell was this about? And what did it have to do with the topic being discussed? Interesting. Cruisers Forum “Moderation” in action.
Now granted, it is kind of funny I suppose…especially if you’re into curry and its after effects. So, I thought I’d pipe up with a joke of my own and keep it light:
“My great-grandparents owned an Indian restaurant. I take offense to this image.
Please advise a moderator.”
I then also, FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER, used the “Report Post” feature – and told ModWeavis in its comment section that he needed to stop the trolling games and remove his post…you know, the CF Rules?
Within an hour I received another PM and a “strike” from whom I think might be the Queen Bee of CF Mods – ModJanet. She was now accusing ME of “trolling” – and we had the following exchange:
Nice exchange. She seemed genuinely grateful for the input, don’t you think?
I didn’t hear another thing for a couple of more days. Then I got yet another Mod PM, from yet another mod, ModPete, complaining that I had, yet again, been “impolite” to some dude (without any guidance as to how or where). So I dutifully did my part to find out what he meant and had this exchange with him – trying to educate him as to what “good-natured-ribbing” or “GNR” means:
I didn’t hear anything further and went back to posting more brilliance. I think at this point I had been targeted by every single one of the CF Moderators. It was pretty amazing.
It all seemed just fine until a dude named “Exile” posted this in one of the threads I was participating in, in which we were discussing the various meanings of closely-spelled nautical and non-nautical terms:
Playing on his use of the word “dingy” – with the definition of “stupid/air-headed/etc.” – and combining it with the other definition of “dirty/run-down/etc.” I posted the following:
“Was she stupid or just in need of a shower.”
Within minutes this post was deleted and my account was closed…forever…and ever. With no reason given.
(NOTE: It appears that my post above was reinstated AFTER I’d been banned. Hmmm.)
This, ladies and gentlemen, is how moderation at Cruisers Forum works. And this, I think, is exactly why it’s so notoriously hidden behind a steel curtain.
Now, to be sure, I’m no forum angel as you can clearly see. But that’s not my job. My job is to talk about boats and sailing with as much factual basis as I can provide – while generating some laughter here and there – and yes, to scrap with people who feel the need to scrap with me.
So, you be the judge as to whether these Moderators actually live up to the “higher standard” they claim, and to which they slavishly hold their members. And you be the judge as to whether they were justified in their actions herein…whether I unquestionably had it coming…or whether they were just incredibly “dingy”.
As for me…I need a freakin’ shower.