I had an uncomfortable 16 hours yesterday/today when I found out that I had been banned from the Horse and Hound Forum and what's more this was for life! What could I have done? No explanation was given other than the stark message:
You have been banned for the following reason:Your account has been suspended under clause 6.1 of the Terms of Service.Date the ban will be lifted: Never
Now I've got to be honest I didn't study the Terms of Service when I set up my Forum personae so clause 6.1 could have read "You mustn't be called David" for all I knew! Either way the sentence seemed pretty severe and all the more so when it became apparent it wasn't clear what I was being banned for. So of course it was stiff upper lip and ask!
I finally got a response out of H&H at about 15:00 today but not before I'd written to the H&H editor to ask for an explanation. Now the e-mail starts "Private and Confidential - Without Prejudice" which has a bit of a legal feel to it so I wont copy it out here but suffice to say it explained that they believed I had set up the account for the sole purpose of generating views for the video and as this was out with decent Netiquette then they had decided to ban me for life.
Obviously there is a certain truth in this; I wanted people to view the video, like it and share it. But I also wanted to share my vision of "The Spirit of Eventing" with them so I don't think it is true to say that my sole intention was promoting the video, even if it was a large part.
I have to say I was disappointed with the actual response from the forum; I only added about 100 views over the weekend from ~500 visits to the thread. Having a video on Eventing Nation in the USA is much more rewarding. I had one comment which I'm very grateful for but other than that I needed to regularly bump the message to keep it near the top and it was the bumping that I was for banned for.
H&H offered to reinstate the account if my intentions were otherwise but by this time I decided that there was more mileage in being banned hence replied:
Equally without prejudiceThank you very much for your explanation.I actually thought I was sharing my take on "The Spirit of Eventing" with like minded people but I do admit I bumped the thread in order to maximise the number of views. Consequently I am happy to live with the ban as having a "banned" video gives me even more mileage from an SEO perspective.In return please note that H&H are now banned from using any existing or future Harveywetdog video and that this ban is for life.
So there you have it; the mouse has roared and H&H are banned for life from using my videos; the victory is totally Pyrrhic, but very satisfying all the same!
(SEO stands for Search Engine Optimised.)
Here is the video in question:
Either click on the link or the arrow on the image. For some reason only the link appears on mobile devices?