My (edited) message to Quora Moderation:
My account has been deactivated since May. I don’t know what could have caused me to be banned, especially because I haven’t used Quora in a couple of weeks.
I have been trying to report unfounded BNBR reports for many months. They are mostly ignored. If you went over the BNBR reports that I’ve gotten, you’d understand that most of them weren’t violations.
I have emailed you many times, contacted you in this form many times, contacted you on Quora, and used every other method available to me for you to hear my pleas, which have usually fallen on deaf ears.
I will own up to any violations I deserve, but that can’t be more than 5-8 reports. Users are targeting me with reports, harassing me badly, and (unsuccessfully) attempting to bait me into violating BNBR. I was fighting a losing battle from the start.
I love Quora. I have friends here that are like family. It has taught me so much about myself and about writing. Please don’t make me leave.
I don’t know if they’ll respond. They might just ignore me again. Regardless, I love you guys and, if I’m unbanned, I will come back. If not, my Quora email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
A lot of people have been saying that I deserved this, protesting that, since I received multiple policy violations, I must have been doing something wrong.
That doesn’t necessarily have to be the case, though. Only someone who has gotten popular on Quora could understand what it’s like to be targeted. You could literally say “I like pie” and be successfully BNBR’d. Moderation doesn’t have the staff to check BNBR’s, so they’ll just approve them no matter what. They also don’t have the staff to repeal them, so once you get a silly BNBR, you’re most likely stuck with it. It’s a vicious loop that has trapped many Quorans as soon as they begun to get popular.
As more people begin to follow you and your content is circulated through a wider audience, it makes sense that more people would find your writing not to their taste. Some of these people are particularly nasty., which means that it’s your job to quietly report all of the horrible messages and comments that you’re getting. If you respond, you get BNBR’d. That’s it. It’s over.
I trained myself not to respond to all of the nasty, horrible messages that I were getting. Sexist? Doesn’t matter. Anti-Semitic? Doesn’t matter. If someone tells me that I should be gassed and I should die in Auschwitz, I still can’t make a peep. If I do, I get BNBR’d.
Yet I was still getting targeted, for things that didn’t even make sense. Perfectly innocent answers would be defaced with rude edits like “kill yourself” or “go die in Auschwitz, Jew” or “you dirty Jewish insect.” Other perfectly innocent answers would be successfully reported for BNBR.
I would get a BNBR maybe every other day. They were usually not justified in the least. I would appeal it, knowing that nothing would ever happen.
I knew that this was coming. I made Jack Munzel a co-owner of the Grammar Auror Movement. I made a Quora email and gave it out to people. I prepared for the possibility of being banned, because I knew that BNBR could just as well be designed for the abuse of fellow Quorans. That’s exactly what it’s used for, and it’s exactly what it will continue to be used for.
A part of me doesn’t want to come back because of that. BNBR is just so unfair and irritating. It makes me angry that moderation hands out the ability to abuse its most active community to every single user. I don’t know if they’re biased against the popular Quorans who are racking up unfair BNBR reports, but I know that this has happened to so many people. For example, Habib Fanny also gets BNBR reports about every other day, but moderation actually responds to his. (Maybe he harnesses the power of Horus?)
But I couldn’t bring myself to truly leave unless forced. So many people here just so freaking kind. Wendi Tibbets. Kittie Eubank. Jordan Yates. Dushka Zapata (whose name autocorrect still stubbornly tries to correct to “Duck”). Josh Fechter. Elke Weiss. Habib Fanny. And so many more who have mentored me, inspired me, and bantered with me.
Please, feel free to go over the 1,270 answers that I’ve written on Quora, and tell me if you think that my ban was truly deserved. Because I don’t.