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May 2, 2008

I have a major bone to pick with what used to be one of my favorite websites. And since they’ve temporarily banned me from their forums, I guess I’ll do it here!

Several years ago (either around the same time that I was becoming addicted to the Kelly & Justin story that was American Idol, or before MTV’s The Real World had become a mockery of itself) I became a big fan of a website called Mighty Big TV. At the time it was a fairly small website that was dedicated to forums and recaps of reality tv shows. It was hilarious and I loved it.

Fast forward a few years later, and it’s gotten really popular, is acquired by Bravo and changes its name to Television Without Pity (I might not have the exact order right there, but you get the idea). I still check it out occasionally but just don’t have the time that I used to.

Anyway, as some of you know my hubby’s boss Richard Blais is on Top Chef; we’ve always been a fan of the show but obviously we’re even more interested in it this season. I had been keeping up with some of the forum talk about Blais on the TWoP site, and decided to weigh in on the topic of him googling himself, among other things.

Well I guess it’s standard protocol for the site administrators to allow you to say whatever you want about a “cheftestant,” but as soon as someone (me) takes up for them by saying it’s ridiculous to be saying things like “he’s funny looking” then you get a warning. That’s basically what I did, and if you know me you know I’m not really argumentative unless I’m forced into it. I was really nice (I think so anyway), basically explaining that I’m delurking to weigh in on some of the criticism that had been thrown Blais’s way, over silly things like him googling himself (so? my argument was if you know people are talking about you what’s wrong with being curious about what they are saying), and comments about his looks (which have absolutely NOTHING to do with his cooking). My take was this, this is reality TV, these people aren’t actors. To harp on things like how they look, wear their hair, and what color Crocs they wear is a little silly. Blais is just trying to do what he loves and get a little recognition for it. Can we fault him for that? Well I guess my saying this was considered an attack on another member of the forum, and that’s a no-no, so my post got censored (they removed the part where I said calling him funny looking was ridiculous). I didn’t like my post being edited though, but couldn’t find a way to delete it… so I just edited it further asking how to remove it. Eventually they did.

Today I return to the site to see more Blais bashing by the person who seems to be leading the anti-Blais camp, someone who calls herself (I think it’s an angry ex, so that’s why I’m saying “her”) Peachtreeinatl, so I got curious and clicked her handle to see what I could find out about her. Whatdya know, my account has been suspended! WTF?!? Crazy. So people can go all over the Internet bashing him (I suspect a lot of the negative comments I’m seeing on other sites are from this same person), but I can’t defend him in the slightest without getting banned. And what I said wasn’t even confrontational anyway. Whatev, I guess I’ll stick to just posting my opinions here, and reading the recaps on David Dust’s site. His is much funnier anyway (and there’s half-naked gay guys to boot).

26 Comments leave one →
  1. Donna permalink
    May 6, 2008 1:21 pm

    Now that I am finally caught up on Top Chef, I can weigh in . . . I don’t understand why people are bashing him when that girl Lisa is still on the show! She makes my skin crawl.

    Richard seems to be staying out of everyone’s business (read: drama) and doing what he’s supposed to do . . . cook!

    People need to stop hatin’ on Blais!

  2. May 25, 2008 1:24 pm

    Thanks for the shout out!!


  3. May 27, 2008 9:35 pm

    David, you are welcome! Your top chef recaps are friggin’ hilarious!!!

  4. Robin D. L-name permalink
    June 8, 2008 4:23 pm

    A friend of mine on the So You Think You Can Dance TWOP forum got her account suspended for absolutely nothing. I went and looked and can’t find even one little thing she could have done wrong. Since then I googled and found many people have problems with the mods there. Good to know, cross TWOP off my list of places to frequent.

  5. trishrosenthall permalink
    July 1, 2008 7:52 am

    Hey, thanks for sharing your story.

    I got booted off the TWoP AI forums for playfully correcting another poster’s use of the word “schmuck.” The poster had posted a long commentary on all of David Cook’s good attributes, and then (inadvertently, I’m quite sure because he joked with me in a later post about mine) referred to him as something like a “regular midwestern schmuck” (the implication being that DC is just a “regular guy” who hit it big).

    When I pointed out that schmuck is Yiddish for penis, and that it’s generally considered a perjorative, apparently I Crossed The Line. According to that Soup Nazi moderator TWoPBayliss, I was guilty of being a “snotty lecture(r)” and, bam, was banned!

    I’m just trying to figure out how to sign off on my old account so I can re-register at a later date. Don’t really want to get another email account.

    Does NBC realize what huge assholes some of the TWoP moderators are? I mean admonish people, or ban them if you must, but why is it okay for the moderators to be rude and uncivil when that same (or far more benign) behavior can get members banned?

  6. tartar permalink
    August 16, 2008 5:14 pm

    Hi there — just found this post while trying to google info on how the heck to delete a post from TWoP… like you, I received a “warning” from a seemingly fascist moderator. This was over simply beginning my post “Really, ya’ll?” in a response to a bunch of folks who deemed Kenley of Project Runway’s recent laughing fit in front of the judges as a callous and “calculated” act. I was genuinely surprised at how many people had this take, as mine was so different (that it was simply a giggle fit, and I was also kind of shocked at the vitriol being winged her way by these posters). Apparently my “really ya’ll” was deemed “rude and condescending” and my post was edited by this moderator! — ew!! now it’s stamped on the bottom that it’s been edited “due to manners”. I just want to delete it, and can’t seem to do it. I don’t want to call anymore attention to myself than I have already.

    I know it’s stupid when it’s just anonymous posting on the internet, but it really bothers me, and it’s sort of humiliating. I really mull over my posts before I send them, and make every effort to be polite and light-hearted as possible. I’ve only posted a handful of times to the site, despite really heavily reading the forums, and etc, and now I never want to post again!! It’s really soured me. Especially when in the threads for another show that I follow, I have noticed a couple posters being much more “critical” and question-y of other people’s posts, for no good reason. And they seem to be left alone, no chiding for “bad manners” (can you tell I’m pissed???).

    Ugh. Sorry, again I know this is trivial stuff, but I just needed to vent. Glad to hear I’m not alone in this souring experience. I just want to delete my damn post! So much for participating…

  7. Gail permalink
    September 28, 2008 6:40 am

    tartar you are lucky you were not banned for that, TWOP has banned people for a lot less.

    I’m not agreeing with it, I think the mods there are either overworked (at best) or wackos (at worst) and in some cases, both.

    trish: NBC doesn’t seem to care, which is stupid because I’m sure they were not given the website for free. Maybe they bought it as a tax writeoff? LOL If so, then they should keep letting the absolutely fanatical fascistic Bayliss (aka Jacob) keep banning people. He is the worst of all. He can’t merely ban or warn; he has to send a paragraph-long snotty diatribe along with it.

    If he were judging his own posts he’d have been banned immediately. He’s incredibly snotty to other people in the threads.

  8. Gail permalink
    September 28, 2008 6:42 am

    tartar: for what it’s worth, saying “really y’all” is not snotty whatsoever. It is clearly a figure of speech. It is clearly expressing surprise.

    They’ve really lost the plot over there at TWOP.

  9. Kris permalink
    October 9, 2008 7:48 am

    Got banned by Jacob/TWoP Bayliss in a way that pretty much implied I had rubbed him the wrong way, but nobody else in the forums. Tried to explain myself and ask a question of him, got banned.

    Been there over six years and never had such a problem.

    Most of the complaints about a Television Without Pity moderator (from both banned and not-banned members) are aimed squarely at TWoP Bayliss.

    Instead of taking their ban and just slinking queitly away, or signing up under a different username, how about we try doing something about it.

    Call NBC. Ask for Lauren Zalaznick, Bravo TV President (Bravo owns TwoP).

    212-664-4444 is the New York number.
    818-840-4444 is the LA number.

    A former member and prolific blog member by the name of Marjorie wrote NBC a letter and has now called as well.

    Her story is here:

    I know that in the grand scheme of things it’s just an internet message board for talking about TV shows, but for some it’s a community they’d grown to like and, more importantly, we shouldn’t let overzealous moderators get away with extreme asshole behaviour. Yes, TwoP does state in their FAQ that their mods are strict, but not only from what I experienced but from the responses and warnings other folks have gotten pre-banning, this just goes beyond.

    End it. Call the parent company, voice your grievance, and hopefully they’ll discipline. Don’t allow someone else to ruin something that you like and that was working fine before.

  10. primosprimos permalink
    October 23, 2008 8:41 am

    I don’t know if the douchebags behind TWOP moderate the NBC board, but feel free to leave your comments about Jacob and Julie here:

  11. boo1234 permalink
    October 25, 2008 3:06 pm

    I got banned by TWoP Bayliss for writing in all lower case even though I punctuated everything correctly. wtf is with this guy?

  12. dbzrkyyh permalink
    October 28, 2008 1:59 pm

    According to Twop Bayliss Im illiterate. It also seems that I cant post about characters I like or dislike because bayliss considers it ” weird lecturing”. WTF…… seriously how am I suppose to talk about the show with out discussing the characters?

  13. virginia murrell permalink
    October 28, 2008 7:32 pm

    TWOP Bayliss is a TOTAL ass who warned me for using a spoiler blackout on what was A SPOILER. Yet when queried he could not give a reason for doing it – his logic is not earth logic. He also fancies himself a really deep person who does a really pretentious job of writing his TRUE BLOOD recaps – I mean they are so full of his pseudo-intellectual gibberish that they are hardly readable and his grammer and spelling is all fucked up – especially for someone who bans people for the same shit. This guy has serious problems and I can’t believe he hasn’t been fired. He is a total dick.

  14. Jack permalink
    October 29, 2008 9:00 pm

    Yeah, Bayliss is a douchebag. He throws out completely imflammatory remarks that are 10 times worse than anything allowed in the rules, and gets away with it because everyone is afraid of him. The guy is a power-tripping troll who can’t find a real way to show off his education, so he gets off on talking down to posters who disagree with his philosophy on life. Just read any of his recaps (as Jacob) and then try some of that shit in the forums. He’ll blow a gasket.

  15. Rudy2 permalink
    December 7, 2008 9:29 am

    I don’t watch many TV shows so my forum reading on TWoP is limited — thankfully I’ve not come across Bayliss. However, Nikita, the mod whom this blog’s author apparently ran afoul of, has got to be as bad! I’ve been warned twice by Nikita on Top Chef boards. The latest was I wrote “Enough about the x, y, and z. Everyone’s palate is different” or something to that effect — and was edited and knuckle-rapped for rudeness and board-on-boards. So now an expression, in a forum where people debate many aspects of a show, of “Eh, enough already . . . ” is rude? Nikita must be a seriously hypersensitive person.

  16. primosprimos permalink
    December 22, 2008 1:10 pm

    Bayliss aka Jacob and Nikita (well named) are really two sad little putzes.

    However, having seen Jacob’s picture on MySpace, I can understand why someone like him is relegated to the power he gets from being a dictator at a message board. The guy does NOT get any. Seriously.

  17. Wiley permalink
    February 19, 2009 8:15 pm

    I just got banned again (I periodically go through these cycles where I have enough patience with TWoP to setup a new account there).

    You have to take my word that I’m one of the least “trollish” people out there. I never get in fights. I don’t insult people. If I break rules, they’re petty ones and unintentional, and I never make the same mistake again if its been pointed out to me.

    But TWoP and its “leaders” are evil. Petty tinpot power-mad snide uncompromising lazy and often outright rude. They “see” attitude in posters which is often manufactured out of whole cloth, or often don’t even bother with that pretense and simply manufacture “strikes” against people for obscure “rules” hidden DEEP within 15-20 page long “Ask the Admin” topics.

    For example, I was recently banned for mentioning the contents of a Promo in a show topic. NOWHERE was this indicated as a rule, not in their 15 page “Ask” topic, nor in the FAQ for the forum, nor in the FAQ for the whole board. There WAS a “Promo discussion” topic, but nowhere in THAT topic either was a statement that Promos could ONLY be discussed (or apparently even MENTIONED) there. My email to the Admin (I don’t recall if it was TWOP Mars or TWOP Bayliss) was polite and to the point, but I was told “You should have known better”. That was it.

    They’ve done that innumerable times with me. Usually the SAME two people, Twop Mars and Twop Bayliss. MINOR nitpicky rules which always appear to be forum specific and very badly documented. Over I think 4 accounts I’ve had there I’ve been “tweaked” for 18 or 19 REALLY minor things, given massive attitude if I politely asked for clarification or further instruction, and as a result been tossed out on my ass, usually with a final VERY snide note in the admin panel which pops up. I’ve rarely been more insulted for less cause so often in my life.

    The most ridiculous excuse used by them appears to be this “board on board” stuff, which they basically use however they want. I got tweaked for the phrase “you guys”. I am NOT kidding. “You guys” meant I was breaking some sacred board on board rule.

  18. herrlosse permalink
    April 7, 2009 10:32 am

    Na, Mars is alright. Bayliss is a douche though definitly. Sun seems to be the one has most of a problem with me. Havent come across Nikita though. Gadget is the coolest and laid back.

  19. Chasafras permalink
    April 22, 2009 5:23 pm

    Bayliss banned me from TWoP over an innoculous comment over on the True Blood site where I simply stated that if the show went the way of the books, that eventually I wouldn’t like one of the main characters. I got a little blurb the next time I logged in that just said, “WOW! Banned!” and when I sent e-mails trying to find out exactly what I did to get banned, of course I got no response. The site touts itself as being without pity, but apparently only the moderators are allowed to be without pity and the rest of us have to be “nice”. I waited until recently to resign up using a different e-mail so that I can talk to my buddies on my favorite reality show site, where I have never been treated poorly. I will definitely be sending in a complaint to the higher powers and hoping that something is done with it! Thanks for the heads up and I am glad to know it is not just me!

  20. WaxOnWaxOff permalink
    May 15, 2009 12:08 pm

    Yeah, TWoP is really starting to get ridiculous. I’m currently “suspended” until Sunday. Why? I have no idea. I can only guess it had something to do with the AI board since that’s the last place I’d posted. Of course, this was a mere week after been warned on the TAR board for using the phrase “I don’t understand the attitude about…” For that, I was told to “watch my phraseology” and told that I wasn’t allowed to comment on other posters’ “opinions.” Really? Since when? One of the most popular acronyms on the TWoP boards is “ITA” (I totally agree). So, apparently it’s OK to acknowledge AGREEMENT with others’ opinions, just not any disagreement.

    In fact, using the word “attitude” was (I thought) a NICER way of referring to the blatant hostility being expressed by other posters than using the words “blatant hostility” but what do I know?

    The funniest thing about TWoP is that here’s a site that will let its posters cuss like sailors on topics without blinking an eye, but will ban those same posters for “lack of manners” for daring to ask why someone holds a certain opinion.

    Go figure.

  21. Spike permalink
    September 19, 2009 5:47 pm

    Yeah, the TWOP mods are getting RIDICULOUS. They are the most anal-retentive skirt-grippers I’ve ever run into on the Web.

    I get that they don’t want the board to descend into madness as a mess like MediaDomain has, but they are too far to the other end of the spectrum.

    Mars and Bayless are the worst but hardly the only ones. And what makes me truly angry is that they are so ARBITRARY about everything they do. Applies to whoever they want, when they feel like it.

    I think it’s time to find – or establish – competition so that TWOP can slink into irrelevance.

  22. Dan permalink
    April 27, 2010 11:22 pm

    I got banned for ragging on a poster who cursed out QVC host Lisa Robertson without reason. No good deed goes unpunished, apparently…especially when it’s a good deed posted on a site run by fascists.

  23. speaker of truth permalink
    June 5, 2010 9:36 pm

    My account was suspended for exactly the same thing! I was trying to defend a child on a reality show from all the attacks from posters. The child in question obviously has mental/emotional problems and I was attacked for pointing it out and asking people to rethink their snarky comments. They even deleted the post where I said I was disturbed by how passionately people were attacking a child instead of considered the fact that the child was handicapped.

    I also liked TWOP a lot but I was shocked that my account was suspended for spreading positive energy instead of negative energy. Although I guess people whose internet lives revolve around posting nasty comments about children they’ve never met are already at the bottom of the gene pool.


  1. Imaginary Lands » Blog Archive » Television Without Pity: Nazi moderators = zero response from Bravo = zero business sense
  2. Imaginary Lands » Blog Archive » List of criticisms and complaints against TwoP
  3. List of criticisms and complaints against TwoP « Imaginary Lands

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