From the moderation mailbox

> Hi,
> I have done my penance for what i still don,t know ! Can i now be reinstated?
> I cant buy any products through WOBH site because i am blocked by you guys,not a good look from your advertisers point of view!
> Regards, [John].

To which I responded

> That’s not how things work John. I’ve just upgraded your ban to permanent.
> It appears our initial assessment was spot on.

The initial reason for giving him some time away was that he wasn’t leaving suitable comments.  In our internal jargon, he was “being a dick”.

This in turn elicited this response 

Many thanks Pete you precious prat, who’s being the dickhead here? You have become a bunch of hypocrites who run people down because you can,but can not handle constructive criticism ,where does that put you? it puts you on the same journey as the MSM are going, down the drain. It is a pleasure to be upgraded on my ban and become unassociated with WOBH as more and more of your readers and contributors bale out.
Donation to Cam has been cancelled. Petty b/s on your part and the power of the pen will always overcome control freaks like you Pete. :-D

I hope John feels better now.

I’m not sure how telling us he can’t buy from advertisers is constructive criticism.  Not sure how anyone, once denied the privilege of commenting on the blog, is thereby prevented from purchasing anything at all.  I read it as a way to put pressure on the moderators to let him back in.  I see nothing constructive about it.

I know of one commenter that is a financial supporter of the blog who was punted for the third time.  I knew he was a financial contributor, and I punted him anyway.  He, on the other hand, decided that his inability to get on with the moderation rules had no relevance to his support of what Cam is trying to achieve.  He’s allowed back, but has decided to stop the cat and mouse game.  Cam is still getting his financial support, because he can see there is a greater issue at stake, and it’s not all about him.

As you can see from John’s reaction, it’s not about Cam or what he can do, but it is all about him and about retribution.  First, it was about telling us not being able to comment would hurt our advertisers, and then it was about hurting Cam because he doesn’t like me.

Right from the start, I told Cam that being a financial contributor to the blog would never be a reason why someone would be allowed to continue commenting if they were considered to be disruptive.   There would never be a “loophole” where anyone could put money down and then get a Shield of Moderation card.

I take no pleasure in John being angry.  The odd thing is that he was due back to be reinstated, but he couldn’t help himself and had to add that advertisers were getting hurt because he couldn’t comment.  That’s an odd thing to say to people who are in the process of letting you back in.

So the lesson for the day is that if you have ever financially supported Cam, this isn’t considered by the moderators.  For one, they don’t know if you have or haven’t.  They wouldn’t know if it was $5, $5,000 or even more.   They have no visibility whatsoever.  It allows moderators to make decisions purely based on behaviour.   In turn, if you have a run-in with us, and try to use the fact you have been a financial supporter as leverage, it will never go in your favour.  And lastly, if we are in the process of letting you back in, it’s probably not the right time to try and apply leverage.  It always has the opposite effect on what you are trying to achieve.


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