Friday, July 4, 2008

Complaining Gets You Nowhere, part 2

Here is the letter that I faxed to them on March 27, 2008. The only real name used in it is mine. The only editing that will be done, is that I removed the name of the forum manager and that I will insert my name from here, as a substitute for my given name in the letter. Beyond that, this is verbatim.

I never did get a response to this letter, by the way.

Dear Forum Manager:

My name is Georgie B and I've been a member of the Topix forums for over a year. About a month ago, all three of personas were basically purged from two computers, due to some transgression of the Terms of Service agreement that I've yet to be told about. I've tried on numerous occasions, via the e-mail and via the phone, to talk to you about it, and save for one initial response from you, I've heard nothing since.

Granted, the first time my posts were purged (as an unregistered poster called "Baby Gooey"), I believe, because I went too far over the line with them. That I apologize for. However, after changing my name (as myself "Georgie B" unsigned in), my posts got completely purged.

The reason I believe that I was banned from two computers, is simple. Whereas I was doing the bulk of my posting from my laptop, and thus that IP got banned, I was very sporadic on my home computer (different IP). On my home computer, I discovered that, whereas previously I was able to see all three of my personas posts (yes I have three) at any given time, now depending on how I log in, is how I can see my other posts. If I log in as myself, I can't see posts that I made under my other personas.

As for the other reason for this fax (Bullying and Harassment), I believe there is a campaign of bullying and harassment being waged on me by a group of posters, and that your company is being used to do their dirty work.

Example: On St. Patrick Day's weekend (3/15 I believe this all went down), I made a post on thread called "Shilo" in the Offbeat forum, calling Shilo a "hypocrite", among other things. She responded by welcoming me, then telling me I should watch myself because I didn't know who I was dealing with.

Taking that as a veiled threat, I responded with a relatively non-threatening post (under the name of "I Know That"), stating that I knew I was dealing with a bunch of toddlers. I also stated that whatever they were trying to do, was already done to me: smear campaign that took place privately and on Topix from Aug '07 to Oct '07; numerous threats that were already made to me on Topix; and of course, banishment. I closed out by saying this to Shilo: BTW, does your husband know what you do online?

Now this post was there the next day in the morning. Later on, the pose was removed. Why, I don't know, because it wasn't threatening in any particular way, shape or form.

Another example: There are rumors from reliable sources that a poster that goes by the name of "Moi", has an in with a few employees of your company. From what I know as being a govt. employee, I believe it's improper, if not downright illegal, to abuse your position to inflict payback on others.

To sum it up, your Offbeat forum is being run by a group of posters who practice censorship an attack anyone who they feel doesn't toe their line or heaven forbid, offends them.

One other note: this group of posters are more likely then not, the same ones who created the troll called "Prayerful One", which caused so much havoc in your forum last year and who created a registered persona called "Prayerful 1" a week ago or so.

All I'm trying to do is find out why I was banned and explain my side of it in more detail, and why I feel I'm being bullied and harassed, which from what I understand, violates your privacy policies.

The rest of the letter closes out with my contact information and a respectful sign off. To clear up a few points I had made: I did basically figure out why I was purged initially; after suffering through a ban of about three weeks or so, I was able to slowly get back into the swing of things with posting. And with the exception of having my original persona suspended/banned, I have been left alone by those posters. Strange thing though, being left alone by them corresponded with another letter that I had sent by certified mail to Topix, complaining about them not answering my last letter and offering a few more choice observations.

Right now, it's basically a live and let live. I still go there to say 'hi' to my friends, and every once and a while, I make a few choice observations about the people in question, that they can never quite respond to well.

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Go on, give me your best shot. I can take it. If I couldn't, I wouldn't have created this wonderful little blog that you decided to grace with your presence today.

About that comment moderation thingy: While yes, it does say up above I can take it, I only use it to prevent the occasional miscreant from leaving thoughtless and/or clueless comments.

So remember, all of your comments are greatly appreciated and all answers will be given that personal touch that you come to expect and enjoy.

G. B. Miller

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