I’ve been banned and blocked from enough websites to know it’s bad business to have strict ban policies. I’ve been banned for a number of reasons, some unknown. However, I maintain my innocence! *wink*
When you start a website with a strict ban policy you essentially are telling your users screw you. It is understood that you are trying to keep a clean presence and friendly user network but in essence all you are doing is discriminating against others by hiding behind ban policies, because in many cases the ban policy has little to do with SPAM but more to do with personal ethics.
Let’s take for instance, a while back I was banned from SEOChat forums because my first post on the forum board was a reply to a someone who was looking for SEO services. Here’s what the forum member posted to the board:
I am basically looking for someone who can do the SEO For my site URL.
The keyword I have in mind is competing against 11,600,000 on Google. The site is already indexed and appears to be listed on page 2 of ‘Wholesaler Forums’.
Any contact would be great, I’m looking for someone to start right away.
Here is my response to their post — this is what got me banned!
I can assist you with your SEO needs. Please PM me your website URL and I will respond with a FREE MARKETING PLAN REPORT. I look forward to hearing from you.
That’s it! My account was banned. Matter fact here is the thread of the post that got me banned, http://forums.seochat.com/seo-professionals-57/seo-professional-wanted-138458.html
I know I was a little cheesy! LOL! But, who cares — I was on topic, relevant, and responsive to a member post. And what’s worse forum moderators had the audacity to flame my post and question my authority because I said FREE MARKETING PLAN and I was not an active member on their forum.
FREE MARKETING PLAN is a part of my everyday quote — it just shows the details of the project scope. Maybe I shouldn’t have used the term, but its use shouldn’t of gotten me banned — I didn’t say or do anything out of line, a moderator just did not personally accept me or agree with my post and therefore I was banned.
I did a web search for “seo wanted” and at the time that post was on the first page of Google search results. I simply clicked-through read the post and left a comment, doing that got me banned! I said FREE MARKETING PLAN which is a free quote, I didn’t say FREE MARKETING.
Anyway, since that day I haven’t returned to SEOChat, haven’t recommended them to anyone, and whenever I hear someone mention them I turn my nose up. The forum moderator could have simply just removed my post (which they did) if they didn’t agree with the post or send a friendly email explaining policy — if I broke any.
I also was banned from DigitalPoint in the past for multiple user accounts, but I was already an active member of DP for years before being banned, so I wanted back in. There are legitimate reasons for having multiple accounts. For me I have different online personalities which each serve different purposes.
Another place I was banned which rubbed me the wrong way was at MailChimp, being accused of spamming — I had only 7 subscribers at the time and they were all opt-in so I never understood their complaint. I always felt this was more personal, because the content of my emails weren’t well liked by the general public so its possible they put an end to my account due to personal reasons. When I emailed them for an explaination or some proof of spamming — I of course didn’t hear a response. What’s worse than banning someone from your website is being a coward banner.
I’ve even seen
Website ban policies can leave a bad taste in someone mouth who is a legitimate and influential individual. Making someone feel alienated because you want to steer the direction of your website to serve your own beliefs is discriminatory and I wouldn’t be surprise if a case pops up sooner or later where someone is banned from a website then they file a lawsuit for discrimination.
Many websites ban members who monetize or attempt monetization from their profiles. I don’t understand this practice, because I think every opportunity on the web can be leveraged if done right.
Webmasters have tunnel vision and don’t allow room for growth by having strict ban policies. I think banning should be done when someone is posting irrelevant content, but if it answers someone question then allow it, even if someone tries to monetize, as long as its in moderation.
Take a closer look at your ban policy and make sure you are not alienating any particular group or person. You want your website to bring people together not discourage participation or make someone feel ill about your website.
Being banned is a part of life in the webmaster/affiliate world because you manage so many different accounts online it’s almost impossible not to get banned and with affiliate marketing you have to be extra careful. But regardless when or how you get banned it always make you feel a certain way inside