My beeradvocate.com account status
05/10/2011

This is NOT the ‘beeradvocate and me’ post that I promised on Twitter last week (which is still in the hopper and goes into much greater depth about my history and relationships with the site – its publication is on hold until my status at BA is resolved and perhaps it will never see the light of day), rather this is simply an update on the status of my account as of today with just the facts and NO commentary. I wrote this since I have received so many emails and questions about the situation.

Here’s the current situation;

As of 4/23 everything was ‘normal’ as far as I could tell. Candice then posted her Royal Wedding thread, to which I wrote a few replies. Some of those replies (not all) were deleted by one of the moderators – again, a pretty normal situation, although I didn’t consider anything to be particularly controversial (just the ‘usual’). A little later, Candice wrote me a beermail saying (amongst other things) that I was ‘done in this thread’. I ‘obeyed’ her instruction, but did reply to her beermail by saying, ‘but I thought you wrote it just for me ;-)’) – INCLUDING the emoticon. Ten minutes later my IP addressed was blocked and my account was locked. My reviews and posts still remain on the site but my profile page has disappeared. Attempting to log in generates this message (in red text!);

Your account has been locked. Possible cause = system abuse. Please contact us if you feel this is an error.

Assuming at first a BA ‘time-out’, after a couple of days I attempted to contact both Todd and Jason via different methods but received no reply. After a week went by I wrote an email to Todd and received a reply that said my account was locked for trolling and for promoting BA levifunk‘s software to retrieve BA reviews. Todd also said that any further emails to him would be ignored. That was the last I heard, and the account has been locked for over two weeks, currently residing in BA purgatory.

I’ve never seen a BA ‘time-out’ last this long, so I am beginning to think this may be permanent.

That’s it, those are the facts no more, no less. I don’t know what the end game will be. More to follow…..


33 Comments

  1. JoeLikesBeer

    Pretty lame, and about as unfounded as I expected. I’ve had my run-ins with said moderator also. That being said, being banned might be the best thing that ever happened to you. They’re never going to monetize BA reviews.

    -Joe

    Reply
  2. Gerrit

    Who’d ever have guessed we’d end up being just a couple of guys adding to the endless onslaught of toxic blogs! There was a time when ChainGangGuy and Ding ruled that site, but now, well, it seems we’ve been all but forgotten. The rabble has taken over.

    Oh, will your pending review of the Heavy Seas Dubbel Cannon feature comparison commentary regarding the rest of the informal “Cannon” series? KABOOM, Clipper City!

    Reply
  3. Brianito

    I was wondering what happened to you. Nice to see you’ve started this blog and thought it amusing that some chose to follow you here to insult you further. Not creepy at all.

    As for BA, I’ve never seen such biased and tyrannical behavior from website moderators, especially on a site of such standing and longevity. It’s one thing to have an emotional opinion about something, but to use one’s power to dole out punishment on those that disagree with you is abuse, plain and simple. And all the while boorish posts replete with profanities and personal insults seem to go unmoderated. Do they even know what trolling is? Those forums are crowded with trolls that have zero to add to any discussion apart from some netspeak mockery and general idiocy.

    I’ve advanced an “Ignore User” option on the BA forums several times in various suggestions threads. I don’t see it ever happening unfortunately, as I believe too many BAs would all of a sudden find themselves alone with nobody to deride.

    Reply
  4. Matt

    Two weeks is long but not the longest. People have been exiled for at least a couple of months before. I think raverjames and nickd717 both got 90 day suspensions of their accounts at one point. I’ve never had a time out on there, although posting on your blog might finally do it, hopefully they will let you come back. Why wasn’t levifunk kicked off for promoting his “software”

    Reply
    • Ding

      Really? THAT long? Obviously given levi’s profile is still there, that’s not the only reason.

      Reply
      • Dan

        Well, at a certain point you’ll have to decide whether it’s *worth* going back, even given the opportunity. Essentially, you are likely to reach a wider audience on BA than you do here, but the constraints may prove unacceptable to you.

        In recent months I’ve become a bigger and bigger advocate of the decentralization of the web generally, so I’m probably biased.

      • Ding

        To be honest, it’s not about ‘reaching a wider audience’ at all (that’s not my goal), in fact even if my account is re-instated I doubt I’ll ever go back to posting in the BA forums again, it’s just a question of convenience. For American based beer folk, BA remains the best resource on the web and it’s a damn sight easier researching stuff when logged-in!

  5. Phischy

    BA is run by morons. Most of the ‘old timers’ have either been banned or have left. The site only exists due to the explosion of the craft beer market and newbs coming onto the scene.

    Having been banned 3 to 4 times (usually for disagreement in their rating system) it’s not a bad thing. They’re assholes and the site really doesn’t contribute much to your local scene. Living in San Diego I don’t need that site to know what’s going on.

    BA is pretty much for traders and tickers, which is all about the hype machine.

    You’re not in purgatory, you’ve just been set free from their dumbassery. The kicker is after they revised their rating system to that of the BJCP (which I advocated) I emailed them to have my 1st username restored. Silence. They don’t care about anyone so long as their subscriptions continue to increase.

    That site is worthless.

    Reply
  6. Fred

    Maybe you should grow up.

    Reply
    • Ding

      Meaning?

      Reply
  7. David

    While I think that BA is a great website and community, I feel like the powers that be did a great disservice to the community to ban a user like yourself. While I frequently disagree with many of the things that you post, many times I was able to come away with a different perspective. I admire your determination and your willingness to stick to your guns and be respectful doing so. Which is why I was left scratching my head when I learned that you were banned.

    Sadly, I find that moderation on BA has picked up and I feel it changes the community for the worse. It certainly has changed for the worse by losing a great contributor.

    Reply
    • Ding

      Hi David – thanks for the support. BA is a fantastic resource but its most significant weakness is its insularity via the membership demographic. I feel I have brought a very valuable perspective to the site over the years.

      Reply
  8. Jamie

    Keep up the good work. I don’t always agree but I do appreciate your point of view.

    Reply
    • Ding

      Thanks. I think an alternative perspective is really valuable, even if it’s one that is not in line with your own thinking.

      Reply
  9. adam42381

    Hopefully you’ll get reinstated soon enough. While I don’t always agree with you, I respect your right to present your opinions. I must say, you educated me on what a session beer is and I’m a better BA for it. Keep up the good work.

    Reply
    • Ding

      Thanks, but of course it’s not a ‘right’ to be able to express opinions on BA, it’s a privilege since BA is not a democracy!

      Reply
  10. Steve

    Seems hardly worth the hassle for what you actually get out of the site. Knowing you, Ding, I would bet that you have put far more into BeerAdvocate than what you’ve taken out of it.

    The Alstrom family seems to dismiss that as if it’s wholly unimportant (even though it is THE key to their success). Do they not realize that it’s the USERS who make their site even remotely worthwhile? I think not, considering how hard they work to alienate the long timers. And this mistreatment has been going on for YEARS, but people still want to kiss their asses. I don’t get it.

    They sure as hell didn’t compile all that data on their own. And sure, they’ll ban you in a heartbeat and even dump all your reviews and posts if they feel like it, but I GUARANTEE that they will not remove beers, breweries or stores that YOU have added. NO. As long as it is to their benefit, everything is cool. Who cares if they screw you over, right?

    I’ve done a pretty good job avoiding being banned but at this point, I couldn’t really care if they did ban me. I’m sick to death of the way they treat their “customers”. Its shameful.

    Reply
    • Dan

      The problem is, I’ve seen the opposite on other sites: so much time is spent debating the merits of the various moderators and their decisions that the actual purpose of whatever site it is almost seems lost. For whatever reason, the demographic slice of people that tends to spend lots of time on Internet forums has a predilection for this sort of thing.

      That said, there is something a little odd to me in the Alstroms’ approach. While they don’t seem naive enough to believe that the success of BA is all their own doing and they could have gotten where they are without the users, there is a bit of “our way or the highway”-ness to it that can be offputting.

      Reply
      • Ding

        Ironically, I’m very much in favor of a ‘tight’ moderation of the forums since it gives a focus and a ‘tidiness’ that many other, less structured discussion groups would benefit greatly from. However, there is an increasing, over zealous feel about the moderation that is manifesting itself as the quashing of any divergent opinions. ‘Trolling’ seems to have been re-defined too, in order to tag any such divergence in a negative way.

      • Jamie

        Agree 100%. I’ve been a member there for 5 years and change. The quality of the discussions seems to be getting much, much worse. It’s all top 5 whatever, what beer should I have at my bar mitzvah or BMC is the SUXXXOORZ.

      • Dan

        Well, that may be (I’ve only been there for a year and a half so I don’t know) but if so I don’t think it’s fair to blame the Bros for *that*!

  11. Jamie

    I blame them when they are the ones getting rid of the people with divergent opinions.

    Reply
    • Steve

      And blame them when they get rid of people who are a genuine benefit to the site.

      These guys don’t even know which side their bread is buttered on…

      Consider all the great users who have been canned over the years or who simply left because of the way they were treated. Is it any wonder that it’s a zoo now?

      Get rid of all the people who have knowledge, experience and insight. Replace them with a bunch of noobs, many of which are early to mid 20 somethings. Shake well.

      Is anyone surprised that things are the way they are, over there?

      Reply
      • j

        spot on.

  12. frank BA handle: beernut

    I always looked forward to your opinions and thoughts on the craft beer scene. You spoke the truth & tried to educate those who didn’t understand or refused to understand. My few years there I have noticed the bs that went on and the pointless threads with no meaning. I’ll raise a pint in your honor.

    Reply
    • Ding

      Cheers!

      Reply
  13. MildAleBrewer

    Loved you on BA, but you did play with matches standing on a bail of hay more than a few times.

    Reply
    • Ding

      Well, yes and no. In the climate that came into being at beeradvocate of late, I would agree. At a time when dissension and more importantly, ‘diverse opinions’ were embraced and encouraged, less so.

      My error was to not wanting to be part of the newer, less tolerant regime.

      Reply
  14. Woody

    What is this software you speak of? What did it do?

    Reply
  15. Todd's *******

    More of the same support for you Ding. Didn’t always agree w/ ya, but you were always civil, enjoyable and informative.

    Todd is likely ***** when/if his internet persona comes out in public. Candice might be an even bigger crybaby and hypocrite. They appear to be threatened by people smarter than them (not hard) who can argue a divergent opinion. It’s easier for them to lock/delete someone than be shown to be on the wrong side of a debate.

    The site is a valuable resource. . .because of the users, not the totalitarian hypocrites who started it.

    Reply
  16. derekp

    So, I just came across this site after querying “my account was deleted on beeradvocate,” because it seems something of that nature happened to me today. I’ve only been on BA for 2 years or so, but I spend a lot of time on it and find it valuable. Funny thing is I remember your avatar (Ding).

    I’ve sent an email to the Alstrom Bros asking what’s up. Looking forward to a response (if I get one).

    Reply
    • Ding

      Any update? Have you been following @bawatch on Twitter? That seems to have provoked trouble lately.

      Reply

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