…or even Todd, but I would draw the line at the acidic Candice!
In the past couple of weeks I have received a whole bunch of electronic correspondence about the apparently continuing spiral of insanity that is occurring over at beeradvocate.com. I visit the site much less frequently these days, so am frankly a little out of the loop, but as you all probably know I have had a very special interest in such events in the past. If you are not familiar with why my interest lies there, take a look at this earlier blog post that should bring you up to speed!
It appears that there is a ever-increasing determination to delete and/or edit threads that in ANY way, contradict the company line or provoke any kind of thoughtful discussion about the site and its contents. This has been accompanied by an apparent, minor epidemic of deleting and/or suspending users accounts for utterly trivial transgressions, or perhaps even no transgression at all (other than a difference of opinion). The evidence for this over-zealous ‘moderation’ (although the moderation ceased to be ‘moderate’, years ago), is as follows;
1. The amount of electronic communication that I have received in the last few weeks about the current, deteriorating state of ‘moderation’ at BA.
2. The creation of the following twitter accounts in addition to the original (I think), @bawatch; @OccupyBA, @NotBeerAdvocate, @beeradvocatesux, @BAComplaints, @BannedOnBA and @AlstromBrosFail plus many other twitter users complaining about being banned.
5. This beerit thread, here.
6. This cartoon.
(Of course, although different, this stuff goes hand in hand with things like the Clown Shoes debacle, too).
It really is confusing to me. They are continuing to alienate the very people that make BA what it is and it seems counter-productive to persistently totally quash any kind of dissent. It castrates discussion and means that meaningless, ‘what should I drink tonight’ type threads dominate the forums. I’ve said my piece about most of this stuff before and whether the extraordinarily aggressive and foul-mouthed Candice, or the seemingly fragile ego’ed Todd is at the center of the behavior I have no idea, but either way it seems paranoid in the extreme and exhibits an incredible lack of self-confidence.
I’ve always thought that Jason seemed to be the more reasonable member of the trio, but of course that wouldn’t be difficult, and I felt that he might be taking a different view than suggested by the manic behavior of his sister-in-law and brother, but of course whatever his view REALLY is he could never express anything other than the party line; that’s why an off the record discussion with him would be SO interesting to me!
I still think BA is a great resource, and unlike others who complain about the lack of technical prowess, the lack of an iphone app and the general ‘crappiness’ of the site, none of that really mattered to me because the site always gave me what I needed. I still subscribe (and enjoy) the magazine and am even considering renewing. It also appears that BA is chugging along quite successfully with the magazine going strong, advertising revenue apparently up, employees being taken on and expansion and improvement continually promised. In that respect maybe they really DO know what they’re doing, and even if they DON’T, I’ve always maintained that it’s THEIR site and they can run it in any way they choose! However, none of that detracts from the fact that I was personally treated appallingly badly, and it appears many, many others feel exactly the same way. My experience is far from isolated. It just seems such a shame.
So, how about it Jason? Bring your brother, but let’s make it a ‘boys night out’. I’ll buy the beer if you leave the tip! ;-)