Or should I title this [METHOD] How to abuse mods and [almost] get away with it?
When it comes to BHW, I’ve always tried to abide by the rules. The key word is “try”, since things get as stupid as anything could. I’ve literally turned down offers from clients to put up a fake review on my sales threads after being pleased with whatever it is I did for them. Looking back, I was probably one of the few people on BHW who actually did that.
Anyway, as a handful of you may know, BHW recently decided to permanently ban my account. The official reason I was given was “mod abuse”. I allegedly abused moderators. It all started when I let my uncle drag me into that sex shop in Uganda… No, wait. Saving that for another post.
This all started when a certain MiT (Moderator In Training) bought a website from me. He requested I add him on Skype, and so I did. Later that day, someone else (who got a heavily discount website) left a negative review on my sales thread while I was out for a run. This was the first time I’ve gotten a negative review ever (after literally over a hundred orders), so I freaked out and went to reply on the sales thread multiple times asking him how the website he got didn’t deliver on what was promised in the first place. He refused to do so, saying he wants to “drop it” and won’t argue. That’s cool, but I don’t get negative reviews every day. I reported his post as soon as I could, and I then went to report my own replies on the thread – only one reply is allowed per 24 hours, so I wanted to make sure to let the moderators know I was sorry, but felt obliged to defend my new service.
The MiT who bought a site from me was pinging me on Skype, and I went on to tell him I’m there now and had to deal with the customer who was complaining and refund him. Since this MiT had bought a website from me that same day and I couldn’t re-sell the refunded one, I asked him if he wanted a 2nd site for free. Getting a positive review from a Moderator in Training would sure help my service, so I wanted to keep him happy again, I couldn’t resell the refunded site since the keywords were already revealed. IF he knew he would later help clean my sales thread, and somehow wasn’t supposed to do so, he could have made that clear and he could have refused to take the 2nd free website. The conversation would have ended there (although with the illogical responses I got, I doubt it would). However, here’s how it started:
I use Alpnames, so he’s giving me his details to transfer the first domain he bought – this conversation started on BHW, before he asked for my Skype.
I then asked what I could do about all those replies, since they weren’t removed yet. Note that at this point I had no idea MiTs were allowed to moderate sales threads! Why would they be? He then said he’d take care of it, which I obviously wouldn’t protest.
In the same time, another MiT messages me on Skype, sarcastically saying “Wow you pick some good clients!“. This one has been a long term client, whom I respect I lot. He then proceeded to clean up my replies on the sales thread, but left the initial unfair negative review from the already refunded customer. This one was very professional about the whole situation.
I made it clear that I didn’t feel that was right, and also told the first MiT (from the screenshots above) that I don’t think that was a proper clean up, since the review was unfair. He agreed, and they both talked about it among themselves (which is what they said) and agreed that removing that review is the right thing to do. Nowhere did I abuse, threaten, or ask anyone to do anything that wasn’t their job in the first place – cleaning up the forum. I was happy things were fixed, and got back to my business. Little did I know, making logical assumptions was not something I should have been doing.
Later that night, an administrator of the forum reached out to me on Slack. He told me how he’s been looking into the first MiT (from the Skype screenshots above) and how he was “taking conversations to Skype”. He had apparently heard a rumor that the MiT has been accepting bribes to moderate the forum, and that “my thread was suspiciously cleaned up in a way it shouldn’t have been”. He told me that what ever I said was fine and wouldn’t be used against me, and that he would state that in his report.
These were rather serious accusations against the MiT in question, and even though I had doubts and didn’t want to get him in trouble, I told the administrator about the refunded website he got for free and how things went. I willingly provided the exact same part of the conversation I posted above to confirm that he was a customer and that I had offered the refunded website for free because of that, and the fact that a review from an MiT would be worth more than any of my other customers. I never censored one bit – no one asked me to provide anything more. I even mentioned that I was in fact playing favorites, since members without a good reputation on the forum don’t get a lot of freebies. Good reviews from reputable members bring sales – don’t hate the player, hate the game. I never implicated anyone, and explained everything I did and why. Again, I did not know MiTs could moderate sales threads until I actually asked what could be done about all the replies on my sales thread (that I had already reported and were still there, live).
The administrator told me I was good, and we said good night. I then messaged the implicated MiT about the situation, and even told him I sent a part of the conversation to the administrator. I had nothing to hide, and wanted to make sure I was on the same page with everyone. Why was an administrator investigating their own MiTs, I didn’t ask.
A couple of days later, I received a PM on the forum from someone named diamond diddy or something. It accused me of being a liar, “heavily censoring” Skype conversations (although the only I provided was the two screenshots I shared here, which were the beginning of the conversation), and wasting mods’ time.
The PM was titled “mod abuse”, and it had some bold accusations. To give you a better idea of how I abused these MiTs, here’s how my conversation with the first MiT ended that night:
After that PM, I was told to reach out to support if I have evidence against this claim, which I sure as f*ck did. Here’s their response, after I asked them to provide proof of me bribing and abusing moderators. I got this cable TV customer support quality response:
This was a huge invasion on my privacy, by a body with no legal power whatsoever, but I went and provided the Skype conversations for everything. I asked them where the bribe is, where I did I abuse moderators, why the moderator in question didn’t say no if he felt I was bribing him (could have ended the whole thing right there), aren’t bribed a two-way transaction anyway (but only I end up responsible), why was he under investigation in the first place, why did BHW disrespect the word of their own administrator saying that this wouldn’t fall on me, when it in fact did, why didn’t they let me defend myself from this “anonymous tipper” and whatever “proof of me bribing moderators” they provided (hint: can’t see how they did, because I sent the whole Skype thing), why did these moderators change their mind about how my thread should have been moderated at their convenience, and I stated that I’ll have to make everything public if they didn’t make the obvious logical conclusion from all the information I gave them.
All I got was this rude response from what I could only assume was a carrot:
So, the sort of expected behavior that was provoked by ridiculous actions they wouldn’t release proof for is apparently the sort of behavior that got me banned in the first place. You can blame my parents, I guess. They literally also broke their own rule in that response, since I didn’t even have an infraction, yet they somehow decided to straight up “permaban” me. We also see someone trying to talk as if they knew how International law worked, disregarding the fact that:
- These statements are true by the best of my knowledge
- That’s not what libel means
- I’m a twelve year old Nigerian prince
- If anyone should be complaining about “libel laws”, that would be me. Could also list a few others.
Anyway, that email got the response it deserved:
I then proceeded to step away from the children and go work with grown ups for a change. I’d like to thank BHW for the curiosity and support expressed so far:
The administrator who asked me questions later also apologized and said he was looking into a problematic person, and didn’t expect this to become the mess it did. The whole “anonymous tip” thing was cute. They first said it was “someone around me”, then later said they “have conclusive proof that I deliberately tried to bribe a moderator to remove a negative review from my thread” – these are somehow two anonymous tips or something. Who knows. Considering that I only had one negative review ever, and only one MiT (the one who actually took a free website, and whom I talked to after talking to an administrator that they were looking into him) can have any “proof” that I ever tried to do anything, that being the same exact proof I sent support (unless falsified), we can conclude that… I’m not even gonna conclude anything. Had enough of this BS. I might’ve stepped on someone’s toes that I shouldn’t have by starting too many services. Note that I haven’t published 100% of all correspondence because of respect of some of the people involved (which I’m not sure I should have).
As someone who’s invested time and creativity into this forum, only to later get this treatment without a single warning or infraction, or even the support staff having the courtesy of singing the email they sent, there’s no way in hell I’ll be coming back in any way, shape or form. What a waste of time that was. I did meet some amazing people along the way to be honest, but lesson f*cking learned. Trying to do business on a “blackhat forum” has been nothing short of ridiculous. I never asked to get involved in their corrupted games in the first place, let alone end up being told I’m what’s wrong. I better leave this to the Indian superhero-singer backlink package sellers who buy thousands of dollars worth of stickies so that the administrators can pretend they don’t see the fake reviews on there threads, I’m sure the users will be much better off now that I’m out of there.