Forumer.io was, I thought, a pretty good website. That’s how it always starts, isn’t it? You think that a new website can really be something and then the owner shits on you from a great height.
I say this, of course, with the benefit of hindsight. This is the story of how, in eleven months, I managed to get banned from a website I was an admin of, with no fault whatsoever going to me. I appreciate that some reading this will disagree, but this is, as far as I can ascertain, the truth. I am going from memory because I was banned after all.
In about March, 2020, I was asked by Thomas(ss) to be the other Admin to Forumer.io’s staff team. At that time, I was listed as a ‘Valued Contrubutor’ - and had a few moderation privileges of my own at that point, mostly to combat spam. We had a brief discussion about a few things in a private message, and I chirped:
“I’d probably decline an offer of an admin position if one was made to me” - paraphrasing, of course.
It turns out, Thomas(ss) offered me the role on the spot. Which I accepted. Because who the hell else was going to do the job?
For the first seven or so months, things went pretty well. We started a few initiatives, we ran a few charity posting contests (which were always meant to be our thing to show how we are different from other sites, but I digress), and we got on pretty well, going so far as to hire someone as a moderator, on my advice.
Things started to get rocky when Thomas(ss) started to do things without my knowledge to the website - when I was bought on, Thomas(ss) made the point that Forumer was “our site” and that, of course, implied that anything that was to happen would get a reasonable discussion between the two of us (three, after the moderator was bought on) for an informed decision to be made.
They didn’t. We started to have Thomas(ss) go off and do his own thing. Instigating partnerships with other websites for charity posting contests, adding packages to Forumer (which will be its deathknell; again, digress) and then, the clencher.
I made a comment on a members’ showcase thread which were well within the rules which I wrote. I explained that a particular website which raffles off primarily SEO services seems to be scammy - and it does. It’s deliberately rigged against a board with little content. You can’t SEO something where there’s nothing to SEO.
Thomas(ss) recieved a PM from that user, not me - and Thomas(ss) asked if I could be ‘more reasonable’, after the PM read, and I quote - “I don’t want that sort of comment from an admin of a forum”, which is a shit excuse to start with. At that point, I knew my time with Forumer was at its’ end. I made the choice to walk away, I made the choice to say “No more”. Thomas(ss) demoted me, per my request; but also demoted the moderator I hired. He’s now claiming, through his new admin, that the moderator was demoted for inactivity but he was the third-highest poster, other than me and Thomas(ss). I, as an admin, wanted Forumer to be a website where people could ask the hard questions and could get a decent, reasonable, allay-your-fears type answer. Instead, Forumer became a site where if you go slightly outside the lines of social convention (nee, kissing everyone’s arse, despite if they should be a web admin or not), you’ll be told that it’s not really appropriate.
In short, Thomas(ss) made the choice to capitulate to a member with six posts on our website. He did this and lost his two highest members.
My belief is that Thomas(ss) always wanted to make a clone of that “popular” website that he’s on the staff of. It’s been tried hundreds of times before and it won’t work. It’s a shame. We could have really made something together. Thomas(ss) wanted to piss that away and that’s on him.
Oh, and the reason I was banned? As far as I can ascertain it was because I removed my email and replaced it with one from TenMinuteMail which I did so I didn’t get any emails from the site. Turns out, you can’t unsubscribe from emails from admins on IP.Board, like I thought I could; or at least, I couldn’t find that option.