As you may know, I was recently banned from the Cake Central forums, where I have been an active participant for several years. A lot of people have sent me inquiries asking why this happened. I’m still not clear on the specific reasons, but I will do my best to outline the facts of what happened here.
Jan 16, 2014: An active thread is ongoing involving people complaining about CakeCentral Magazine (the usual complaints about lack of communication and slow refunds). A moderator (SystemMod1) locks the thread after posting that criticism of CakeCentral on the forums will not be tolerated.
Jan 17, 2014: A member posts in another thread complaining about CakeCentral Magazine. I replied by posting a direct link to contact the magazine, and added that the user should be careful because posts critical of CakeCentral are not allowed (previous posts in the thread were full of criticism). Another user replied expressing disbelief at this policy, so I linked to SystemMod1’s post.
Shortly after this post, the thread was deleted anyway and a moderator (SystemMod1) sent me the following private message: “You purposefully attempted to scare off a new member by twisting a completely unrelated matter. Completely unacceptable and shameful even for you.”
After receiving this message, I was unable to access PMs or reply to threads on CakeCentral, and I realized I was banned. I was still able to check my profile, and I had received an “infraction” for being “Argumentative/Hostile/Rude”. The “infraction” expired after 10 days.
Since I was unable to reply to my private messages, I sent the moderator an email directly at her business email address to figure out why I was banned and how I could avoid it in the future. Her email address was published on her web site, and I knew the identity of the moderator because she publicly announced she was a moderator when she got the job; CC has since made separate moderator accounts.
The moderator replied but did not give me any specific information as to why I was banned. In fact, she said that my email to her was “even more inappropriate then what you did to get the temporary ban”. I’ve contacted CC members directly before, I didn’t think it was that much of an issue.
Jan 24, 2014: I received a message from Heath (a co-founder of CakeCentral), saying that because I contacted the moderator at her personal email address (it was her business email address), because I revealed the identity of SystemMod1 (I had not done so on CC and will not do so here), and due to the “history of reported posts on my account” (I have no idea what this refers to) I have been permanently banned. Again, no specifics were given.
Jan 26, 2014: I was informed that this same moderator publicly blamed me for a malware attack on CakeCentral. When I found out about this, I contacted another CC member to relay the message that I was not responsible for this attack, and I have too much respect for the CC community to target innocent users. I was told that the moderator immediately deleted my relayed message and locked the thread. EDIT: I’ve been informed that the moderator backed away from her statement and indicated that I was in fact not involved before the thread was locked.
I can’t really make much sense out of what happened…but it happened and I am moving on. It’s been a lot of fun participating in the CakeCentral forums for the past few years, and I learned quite a bit. It is a testament to the strength of the CC community that it continues to flourish despite the inconsistent policies and actions of the administration. Best of luck to everyone in the community, and thanks to everyone who sent me messages of support.
One final note: when I was banned they also removed the links to my blog in my signature. If you are replying to questions about pricing, starting a new business, or copyright law feel free to include a link to this blog (https://bakerybusiness.wordpress.com/). And if you have a question, you can either leave a comment on my blog, or contact me by email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/jason.l.kraft).