To: Lauren Zalaznick, Bravo TV President
Re: TelevisionWithoutPity Forums, Account Status: Banned
Last week, I sent E-mails and communicated with the staff at TWoP regarding being “banned” from the TWoP website, and today I received a reply.
This is the sequence of events. I logged in to TWoP with my member name: “here” and when I attempted to “add a reply” at a forum, I was taken to a page which stated my account status was: “Banned.” I reviewed the reason TWoP Bayliss states: “Banned for ignoring previous warnings.” My previous two “warnings” were for cross-posting and for not using proper capitalization. I tried to locate my last post and I realized my comment had been removed. But, I was able to view it because another member had “quoted” it. Apparently, I did not capitalize the word: “what.” But, the E-mail I received today contained an additional reason for which I was banned: “...we ask all posters to read a thread before adding their own comments.” It appears that another rule was cited to more fully justify the action.
Many banned members discuss TWoP’s unfair moderating policies at forums all over the internet. This is at www.journalfen.net: "I was banned also. I had a warning about using proper grammar and punctuation. I e-mailed them and told them I had a learning disability and wouldn't post anymore. Instead of answering my e-mail I was banned." And there is quite a vociferous discussion about the TWoP moderators at: www.bitterbutbrilliant.com. There is commentary about TWoP’s “capricious banning” at TV critic Alan Sepinwall’s blog. I was totally astounded when one poster there referred to the TWoP site as: “a lesson in cult formation and mind washing to see how complicit the posters on that board become in relation to the moderator.” ... Good grief!
TWoP needs to be reviewed and perhaps the staff and moderators need to be advised that their severe consequences for minor mistakes are absurd and will no longer be allowed. They need to lighten up at TWoP and stop what appears to be a total abuse of power. It is one thing for a site to be proud of strong management and elaborate rules and strict moderation, but it has moved into just plain ridiculous.
I wanted to reference my personal situation so Bravo, which now owns TWoP, would address the issue. Bravo promotes the website for all viewers to enjoy, and I did not deliberately and with malice violate the site rules. Any rational person would view my Member Notes and my last post and not find anything ban-worthy. Do you support that a member can be “removed” for “any reason or no reason?” Do you believe that the expectation of having posters always and without error “meet the guidelines” is what makes the site “successful?” I am of the opinion that banning should be reserved for egregious and serious violations of Terms of Service. Otherwise, eventually there will be a point at which all the voices of those who were banned will come together out of frustration and find a way to be heard and the site will “jump the shark.”
In conclusion, I am offended that the moderator, from whom I received the reply, has condescendingly referred to my post as a “pattern of behavior” and then mistakenly concluded that I do not take the “FAQ or warnings seriously.” .... And I do not appreciate the E-mail’s sarcastic and disrespectful tone.
Thank-you for your kind attention to this matter. I look forward to hearing from you.