Monday, June 25, 2007

Creative Cow censorship

It would seem that Creative Cow has decided to ban users that mention competing sites. Now, moderating posts is one thing. None of us wants to go to XYZ site to read about digital production techniques and read about Viagra.

However, the wholesale banning of users (2500 at current count) for mentioning competing sites is, IMHO, beneath contempt. To add insult to injury, the site apparently brings up a misleading error message to those banned users who attempt to post on the forums.

To be honest, I never used the forums except in about 2 instances of desperation. I always hated their forum software (vBulletin / PhPBB are MUCH better solutions). So for me, the impact is of no consequence. However, our collective communities need to foster the free exchange of information in order to carry forward the flag of democratization in this industry.

Jonas over at General Specialist has more details. I am not the type to call for a boycott or anything of that nature. You should use your own good judgment. CC is a business for profit. That's understood. But, I think that they have the potential to chase away customers with this practice.


Anonymous said...

I myself was banned for merely asking a blogger about the audio quality of his new XDCam EX. A few hours later, I found I could not sign into my account. And then I found I got ONE e-mail from Ron Lindeboom, with some vague statement that he was tired of me.
It seems it's not enough to be a gentleman on video forums like Creative Cow--you also have to suck up to their sponsors. Any factual criticism (in this case, the bad audio on the Sony HVR-V1U) gets your account deleted.

I'm maintaining a blog of sorts on this at a public site:

It's rapidly filling up with links to sites like this one--there area alot of CreativeCow former members who are unhappy with the Cow's policies.

JC said...

This is all very interesting. On a lark, I thought I'd google "Ron Lindeboom problem"... wow, the search results are plentiful.

In a nutshell, I was libeled a day ago on the Creative Cow's boards, by Lindeboom himself.

1 and 1/2 months ago, I posted a notice within my own job available posting, to please not respond unless you are really serious. A number of people had responded to my initial post, applying for the job, then flaked within a couple weeks. (A job that was a 4-figure job, for 20-30 seconds of motion graphics.)

I wasn't rude in my posting, but was a bit annoyed that so many of the Cow's responders would be flakes. And in this economy. Given I was on "Moderate" anyway, if Cow didn't like my post, they wouldn't let it go through.

But they did. However, someone on the Admin side interspersed surly comments within my post, identified by "Cow's Admin Response."

Fine. I hadn't been back to ever see these. Then, I get notified of a new post to the thread and go look. This is now 45-50 days later. Lo and behold, Ron Lindeboom posts himself, railing against me and libeling me. I email him privately, asking him what the issue is, and why are you libeling me?

He's upset, because: a) someone voted on my thread (or post) and give it a "kudos" or a 5 star rating, so he's pissed off at that; b) he claims he emailed me privately after my initial post 45 days ago, and that he reprimanded me in that email; and c) he claims I posted his reprimanding email at CC.

What??? I wish "b" were true, I'd love to see his "reprimand" of me for my innocuous posting. And... if he really did send me an email that shows him in a bad light, how could I ever get this posted at CC? I'm on "Moderate," who there would allow this post to go through?

This man will not reason; all attempts to reason/inquire/clear up by email only result in more anger and personal attacks from him. He will not admit he's mistaking me or this situation for someone or something else. (Or maybe he's just crazy?) And he will not return phone calls (yes, I called him twice to try to straighten out this apparent misunderstanding, and he refuses to respond).

As a professional in the film industry, I find this behavior egregious. Yes, Hollywood is full of people who act like this. But for a man who doesn't live in Hollywood and runs a popular tech site? Disgraceful.

Obviously, he's got a problem. I stand by this post, and have emails to back this up. I actually wished I had cached the post at CC he libeled me on, but he removed it within a couple hours, deleted the entire thread, and then banned me.

Whatever his problem is, be it psychological issues, ego issues, insecurity issues, or some combination of these... it's a real shame. It's a disservice to the creative community at CC. Thankfully, there are other places to go to post job opportunities and get technical information & expertise.

J. Courshon