The exodus

I have been debating whether I want to type this down and post it or not.
No matter how I put it or how carefully I word it, I know some people will see it as a whiny bitch-fest.
But I know how it feels when people I care about and respect suddenly disappears from LHC and it’s not a good feeling. I know a lot of people are worried and confused and have no idea what is happening. For the longest time I was confused and paranoid about people disappearing or being banned for reasons I couldn’t figure out. You get to see people as friends and worry about them even when you “only” know them from a forum. It’s a crappy feeling when something is obviously wrong.
And of course if you start asking questions on the forum, the mods will jump in and blame you for spreading “slow poison”, “making snide remarks” or simply provoking negativity. Then as we have all seen, the new people who have no idea what is going on, will jump in to defend the mods because “It’s so mean that some ungrateful members hold the mods to a higher standards than themselves!”
Daring to be worried and wondering what’s going on will only get you pointed out as the problem and eventually punished.
This post is dedicated to those that are in the same situation I was in: Worried and confused and not knowing what was happening but seeing something is obviously wrong on the forum. I hope this post will answer some of the questions for those that care.
Of course I’m not able to make people understand it if they don’t want to. If someone chooses to see this as a whiny bitch-fest, that is their choice. I just want to explain to those genuinely interested.
* * *
When I joined LHC in august 2003, it was an awesome place. I learned so much. It turned my hair care completely around. 95% of what I know about hair came from those first couple of years. If it wasn’t for (the early) LHC, I wouldn’t have knee long hair now.
My first hint ever that things weren’t rosy came after about two years. I had made a thread on the Kyoto agreement, just in celebration of it being signed by so many countries. People posted, very politely and carefully non-political. It was just a bunch of people being happy it was signed, not provoking for a discussion, no controversy, not inviting for one at all.
Then this mod joined in, basically posting a very rude message of how completely retarded we all were “for believing in that crap”. I would happily post the exact quote but it’s not possible to find it since the thread and sub forum have been locked in the archives for years. 
I then PMed her politely, saying that it wasn’t a very nice thing to say (Especially not for a mod who should be helping upholding a civilised tone on the forum!) She then PMed me back that I was “ridiculously stupid” and she “Didn’t want to be pulled into a childish fight with me”.
Uhm. What?
The mod stayed a mod for a very long time and no one seemed to care at all. Very charming.
Edit: A reader actually found this thread!
Here is the link. The poster Hollie was a mod at the time the thread was first created and her original reply was way, way ruder than the edited one. The edited one is shows now shouldn’t be a reply a mod of all people should have been allowed to make, but trust me, the original was way worse. It’s funny how some members can be completely civilised and polite in disagreeing while others are rude and condescending. But it’s sad when a mod is allowed to be rude and condescending and no one can/wants to do anything about it.
After that experience I withdrew from LHC for a while.
In the meantime, I heard the rumor of how a mod had bitched at an European member and told her she could use inches or f*** off since it was a US-owned forum and not European. I heard through another (now former) member who decided she didn't want to visit anymore after that.
I returned though. It was around the same time I realised the post-quality on the forum was slowly but surely declining. New people joined in and immediately started threads demanding answers without bothering to look around, read the articles or the stickies.
I always felt that there is no such thing as “stupid questions”. Heck, I myself asked a lot of stupid questions. The sad fact is that we all are more or less brain washed by the hair product industry and have to learn a lot of things from square one. “Stupid questions” about hair care is simply a question of how little real information you have encountered and unless you have been lucky enough to encounter quality information from magazines that doesn’t get commission from the hair product industry, you will know very little.
But, what I do mind is when people can’t be bothered to put the slightest effort into learning on their own and just demand an answer. Many new members are acting like the forum is an advice column and they deserve an answer.
But it’s all based on volunteers sharing their knowledge and experiences and they get nothing out of their time and energy. The least people should do is to use the search function, read the articles or just look around a bit on the forum before posting.
If I received a dollar every time someone asked a question that have been answered 50 times before, popped in on a thread and asked a question that had been answered on the previous page or ask a question that the poll-section would easily answer, I would be very, very rich.
If the new people only did that and actually thanked the people that spend their time and energy helping and answering their questions, the forum would be such a better place.
Of course, if you put a lot of time and energy into your answers and you get no thanks and no recognition for your work, people eventually stop trying to help. So many fantastic and informational threads can be found in the archives, back from before all questions had been asked at least 50 times before and people hadn’t had their replies and input ignored repeatedly.
It was very obvious that the people who knew so much and had so much experience started withdrawing from the mane board slowly but steadily. Mostly they would hang out in the blogs only, but a lot of them simply disappeared when they stopped having a reason to visit the forum.
It was around that time where I talked to a mod (One of the good ones. Sadly she left) and I brought my observation up and made a suggestion.
My suggestion was to make a separate guru-board. “Guru” was the title you got on the old board if you had over 1000 (Quality) posts and had been a member for over a year. Naturally, that is a lot of effort and time spent on a forum and not a title you earn yourself easily.
(Of course there is the obvious exception to that rule, a member on the new board who has over two thousand posts, mostly starting threads about handling and damaging hair, all of them one-liners with no reading value at all. Those who frequent(ed) LHC will know exactly what member I’m talking about here.)
For the gurus, having long hair have become a part of their daily life just as brushing your teeth and opening your front door without smacking yourself in the forehead with it. For the vast majority of the new people, they make a handful of posts; learn a few tips and tricks and then move on to the next thing that interests them that week.
Naturally this means that what you want to learn and want to discuss are very different from the other group. Actually I think it’s like sticking a mechanic and a Sunday driver in the same car forum.
Really, the gurus are what makes or breaks the forum. They are the ones with years of knowledge and experience, they are the ones writing the posts that will change your hair care routine and they are the ones who can troubleshoot any problem you encounter. If the gurus start withdrawing from the forum, it starts to decline.
The ironic thing is I don’t think I even had guru status at the time where I suggested it.
The reply I got to my suggestion? One line: “That has been cursed on the mod board a lot”.
One line. That was all. Suggestion completely shut down.
It wasn’t until a few months ago that I learned why the mod reacted like she didn’t want to touch the idea with a ten foot pole.
Apparently, a forum that existed before LHC started had posters with a very hierarchical attitude. The people with longer hair were talking down to those with shorter. The long term members talked down to the new.
Of course, that is not very nice at all, but lets just make sure everyone follows this: 
On a forum that wasn’t related to LHC, 
before LHC existed, 
some people who didn’t become members on LHC, 
had been rude to the new or the short haired.
And because of that, the idea for an “advanced” board to make sure the gurus have reasons to keep logging in was completely and totally shut down.
On a personal note, I joined LHC about 1½ year after I was bald. My hair barely brushed my shoulders. I can count on two fingers the time people gave me any kind of attitude on my hair being short. Two. Two times out of over 7½ years of membership.
If there is one thing I have to give LHC total and complete credit for, it has to be that your actual hair length doesn’t matter. At least as long as you still want to participate in the threads and have knowledge and experience to share with people.
To take a slight detour in this, the two instances were these:
  1. The earlier mentioned rude mod told me before she became a mod to “Go shave your head or something!” when she disagreed with a post I made. Cute. Classy lady.
  2. A member PMed me completely out of the blue about how I “shouldn’t give up” on growing my hair long. Of course taken out of context that is a very nice thing to PM someone with, but since we never, ever interacted before that and not later either, it’s seems like a thinly veiled bitchy thing to do. I guess it would be the equivalent of someone in your workplace whom you never ever talked to although you know she exists, suddenly comes up to you and tell you that your weight looks great on you and you shouldn’t give up? I was very tempted to send a reply back that she shouldn’t worry about that at all, but sent a polite PM back thanking her for her concern. I have long ago outgrown her length and my hair is twice as thick as hers and much healthier. I have been very tempted to repay her the favour and PM her about how she shouldn’t give up on her hair growing.
Fast forward to the last year or so. Things have really declined.
The oldies are almost all gone. I literally facepalm every single time I visit the Mane board. The blog section is the only place to find intelligent posts. The vast majority of posts seem to be new people who want confirmation on what they already think they know instead of receiving real, actual advice. Preferably with a side order of compliments.
One day I counted 3 threads on the very same topic on the front page. That’s 3 threads out of the 25 threads showing on each page!
Out of the 18 thousand threads on the Mane forum, “tip”, “tips”, “tricks” and “newbie” as search word for thread title yields at least 100 threads each. Of course this excludes all the threads asking for basic advice that doesn’t include any of those words.
The gurus seem to fall in three categories:
  1. Those that simply stopped visiting.
  2. Those who only visit the blogs.
  3. Those very few who still soldier on and try to help the new people. For 99% of the replies they can make its directing people to the articles and stickies, or giving people the compliments and attention they fish for.
A mod mentioned in a completely unrelated thread that only about 2% of the members make it to guru status. Of course that means that they have 700 members with guru status out of the 35 thousand or so members. It made me sad because it means they have so many members for a guru board. Instead, the gurus barely visit. I have seen great forums with just a fraction of that member count. For comparison UTT is a wonderfully warm, welcoming and educational forum is going strong with “only” 478 members (April 11th, 2011)
Myself, I find myself going into category 2 more often than category 3. Some times I force myself to try to help, only to find I’m being completely and totally ignored. New members seems to only want to be told what they already believe or listen to advice like “My friends cousins grandma said so!”.
I really wish they had a guru board and I don’t understand why it’s such a taboo among the mods. I do fail to see how its more ”elitist” than that the gurus can set their own user title, or that the mods apparently feel they’re too good to actually go out there on the actual forum and extend real hair advice.
I guess they choose to see it as a snobbish, elitist thing. I just think it’s a very natural idea since the new and the old have such different approaches and needs. Of course it doesn’t mean that the gurus will become total snobs and not visit the newbie forum at all, but if someone chooses to see it that way, it’s hard to argue with them. Maybe if the gurus had a reason to visit the forum instead of only the blogs, they would be more interested in “spilling over” to other sections instead of only hanging around and posting in the blog section?
Now let’s fast forward to December 31st 2010. I join unTamedTresses. I feel severely burned out and frustrated with LHC and I’m hoping to find some joy, any joy in visiting hair forums again.
I have been reading about LHC on the Facebook groups and finally beginning to learn why people have been banned or left. It makes me very happy that I finally get some answers to what happened to people I care about, but I’m appalled and shocked at the tyrannical behaviour and completely unfair and uneven modding I hear about.
  • “Glitches” have “conveniently” happened to people that had felt the mod slaps already. There were a lot of cases of “logging in glitch” where certain people couldn’t log into the forum unless they cleared their cache and cookies. It seemed to happen only to the people who had been recently mod-slapped and frequented another hair forum.
  • Completely surreal is the fact that the mods have used spies and snitches on other hair forums to report back to them on what people have said so those people can be punished on LHC for what they said off-site.
  • Members have been banned for arguing with mods in their private messages = Messages that are not even visible to anyone on the forum except for the mod they were talking to.
  • Members have received infractions for virtually nothing, like for posting a smiley flashing his cartoon butt. Strangely, the forum has a smiley flashing his yellow butt in the smiley-list. That one apparently isn’t offensive, but an off-site smiley doing the very same is?
  • Members who are thinly veiled rude and ultra full of themselves have been talking down to everyone without any consequences. Some have even bragged how they never even received a “friendly warning” from the mods.
  • Mods have called people names, talked down to people and been generally mean and bitchy in public. “Mods held to higher standards than the rest of the members” my ass. If members protest about the posts or PM the mods, they are consequently slapped with infractions.
  • Mods have shared publically what people have said to them in private or casually shared highly personal information about members.
  • One completely unbelievable example is that there is a picture of two mods shown as sheep humping each other, but posting a picture of a man with his nipples showing will get you smacked “for offending people”. (Just for the record, I have no problem with the picture in question. But I do have a problem with it being considered okay when other pictures are "offensive")
  • People have been mod-slapped for mentioning some of the ridiculous drama on LHC on other forums and their own personal off-site blogs.
  • People have evidence that the mods have looked through their “private” messages and even deleted messages.
  • Reporting people for rudeness or offensive posts gets completely ignored by the mods and rude people roam freely continuing their offensive posts.
  • Some members have not only been mod-slapped, but actually banned for PMing mods over their unfair rulings.
  • The mods have systematically harassed, mod-slapped and banned people frequenting other, private hair boards. Evidently the LHC mods keep records of your off-site activity.
  • Threads have “coincidentally” been closed a lot on the members that have already been mod slapped. Apparently once you’re in the mods bull’s-eye, your threads gets closed awfully quickly while the real train wreck threads go on for weeks.
Instead of dealing with the issues, the mods seem to have been attacking the important things like… Manboobs. That’s right; one of the biggest issues on the forum is pictures of male members without their shirt on. But a mod sharing a story of his roommates cat digging through his trash to find his used condoms (On the publically available Mane forum none the less) is not offensive at all.
I’m tired of trying, so I join UTT trying to find some joy in hair forums. UTT is totally awesome! I’m having so much fun there and so many of the good old people have joined too. It feels like a class reunion to me!
Just because I’m stupid that way, I feel guilty for half-leaving LHC. Now in 20/20 hindsight I laugh at my naivety! Well, of course I had been on that forum for some 7½ years and inspired and helped a lot of people. Hardly a week went by without someone new contacting me to tell me how inspiring I have been and that if I can go from bald to almost knee length, so can they.
To take a slight detour again, this is an attitude I can’t quite understand. It’s your body, it’s your appearance and you can do whatever you feel like doing with it! And yet a lot of people feel discouraged and hold themselves down with “I could never do that”. But you can, at least if you make an honest try at it. I never actually saw hair as a hard thing to grow. If you just treat it gently, condition it and stay away from the scissors, it will grow all on its own. It’s not something you need to sweat for. Yet, some people need to see pictures and stories to pull themselves out of their own imagined crab-bucket. I’m more than happy to be the bright and shiny example for the people who need that even though I will never see how my hair-story is so great. Maybe it’s because I went from bald to knee length and it just sounds more impressive than, say “pixie to knee length”? But that’s just my own personal speculations. Anyways, I digress.
Now, before I get to the last part, I want to make one thing clear: Up until then I have received a grand total of one infraction in the 7½ years I have been on LHC.
I have never claimed I was a saint on the forum, but that is kind of the point of this. Sure, I have said some things that weren’t always 110% nice, but I have never before been punished for it like this: Harshly smacked for posts that the mods should have done instead of me to uphold a civilised and accepting tone on the forum. 
Because I feel guilty for being on UTT so much (Again; That was very, very stupid of me to think) I decide to try and put some effort back into posting and helping people.
10 days after having joined UTT, January 10th I reply to this thread for the second time, having lost my patience with OP: What do women think about men with long hair where you live?
The LHC I joined those many years ago did not allow comments like that and neither "dating-site behaviour". Apparently they do now and it makes me the bad guy for saying what the mods should have said out in public to show what is acceptable behaviour or not. It is not said in a way that is meaner or ruder than what I have said before without getting an infraction for it. 
One thing I and many other (former) members really don’t understand is how “modding” needs to be so secret and why you’re not allowed to say “Hey, that wasn’t very nice!” Really, it would be better for a forum if people are allowed to more or less self moderate so rude posters understand that you’re not being nice because its forum rules or for the mods’s sake, but because other posters have feelings and opinions and those needs to be respected. Well, pretty much the same rules and considerations that apply to the real world too! Wouldn’t it be better when members can see where the line goes and what is acceptable or not instead of this hushed secret-secret moderation?
That was my second infraction in 7½ years, “coincidentally” 10 days after joining UTT.
16 days after having joined UTT, January 16th  I reply to this thread about trends on LHC: Trends on LHC
About the biotin overload people do without knowing anything about biotin other than “It’s like totally good for hair!”
A member, Rose.Grace asks me directly, quoting one of my posts and asking
“Eek! Tell me about biotin please?... [Snip] … But please tell me about Biotin. I don't want to live dangerously!”
So I decide to answer the question thoroughly. It’s a long answer and I need to edit it a few times to push it under 10.000 characters and fit it into one reply. It takes me a few hours before I’m happy with it. So, I post it as a direct reply to her.
A lot of members reply how much they appreciate the post. I’m happy so many find it useful, but Rose.Grace, who asked me directly doesn’t even acknowledge its existence. I keep seeing her around, posting and being active, which I find offensive since the question was directed at me and I took a long time to answer it for her.
On the 17th, I have posted the biotin rant on my blog too and received many comments from my readers who all enjoyed it. Rose.Grace is also active in the blogs, posting there too, but completely ignoring me reposting my reply to her there as well.  
Getting annoyed, I post this in the Trends on LHC-thread:
[About making the biotin rant an article like people suggest:] I did a lot of work on what I have already uploaded and my experience is simply that the new members that should read the articles never do, but the old people who know their hair stuff already read them and nod.
Same with this long reply. Those that already got the point, simply nod and are happy with having more reason to believe what they do. Those who disagree on megadosing will ignore the post and keep taking their mega doses. The new people who don’t know what to believe yet, seems to be more interested in listening to those who promises them amazing growth in a magic pill than those telling them to live healthy in general.
Case in point: Rose.Grace whose biotin question I spent a lot of time and energy on answering haven’t even acknowledged it. And yes, I checked under activity.
And yes, I think it’s a very, very negative “trend” on LHC that people start threads only looking for confirmation that what they already think is the right thing. And that people ask questions when they don’t even acknowledge a good answer or are really truly interested in the truth. It makes the people who knows so much stop bothering to reply when they know their information gets ignored and “My friends cousins grandma said so!” gets listened to.
Yep, I’m a bitter old member and I wish we had a guru board. So?
Still no reply from Rose.Grace. But by then I have heard so many replies from (new) people who are really, truly interested in learning more and I feel encouraged. Even though this one member doesn’t give a crap and doesn’t even possess common courtesy, there are many that do.   
In my blog, I post a slightly more upbeat entry on January 18th, 18 days after joining UTT:
Well, it seems like my frustrated bitchiness made a lot of people inform me in private or the community in general that they actually do read the articles.
A pleasant surprise to say the least!
From the Mane board in general I would still say that people don’t read the articles, use the search function, read the stickies or are capable of adding two and two (Asking questions that have already been answered in their own earlier threads or they should have been able to figure out from their previous threads or have answered from any random looking around on the forum. Even near-guru status members)
But still. Knowing some people actually actively seek out knowledge and are willing to put in some effort to learn, makes me feel like there is hope for this community and makes me feel like it might be worth my time and effort when some people are interested, even those outside of the blogs.
However, I still feel like the LHC trend-thread was a perfect demonstration of what I think is wrong with the community: Someone spends time and effort on answering someone’s question and the asker completely ignores the answer. Not even an “Okay” that shows the asker could be bothered to check in on the thread again after asking.
Repeat this lesson enough times and people stop bothering to put any time or effort into an answer and you are left with the “My cousins friends grandma said so!”-quality answers.
After the blog post, I have made my peace with it. It’s sad when you try to help people (Even after they ask for it!) and they just don’t give a crap, but there is nothing I can do about it. 
20 days after having joined UTT, January 20th I reply to this thread about the longest hair on LHC. Does anyone know?
Now, the LHC I joined, it wasn’t allowed to make mean comments about other peoples hair. At all. Then it degraded into that we could freely make mean comments about other people “out there’s” hair and still scream bloody murder if someone offended “our” hair. Now, apparently it is okay to make mean comments about someone who could have been a member. The owner of the world’s longest hair isn’t a member, but could have been. I mean, really: You join a long hair forum and make mean comments on very long hair? Really? Seriously? That’s pretty ridiculously rude!
For those who are genuinely curious and don’t just use the questions as a carrier for pushing your own rude, judgemental opinion on long hair, I can inform that the longest head of hair I’ve ever seen on LHC was 85 inches. The member has since then cut her beautiful wavy hair back to classic and it still looks as amazing as ever.
20 days after having joined UTT, January 20th I receive an infraction for the biotin posts in my blog and the forum for having “rudely singled a member out”. Right, whatever.
The grotesque thing is, that people have told me later that they contacted Rose.Grace kindly and informed her I had made a long reply to her in case she might have overlooked it? She had replied that yea, she read it. Okay then?! Guess it’s just because I’m not telepathic that I feel annoyed at having wasted my time on replying to her then. And that she ignored following posts where I expressed the annoyance.  
That was my third infraction in 7½ years, “coincidentally” 20 days after joining UTT.
Then on January 23rd, 23 days after joining UTT I get a third infraction for the reply I made in
Does anyone know? 3 days earlier.
That was my fourth infraction in 7½ years, “coincidentally” 23 days after joining UTT.
I am then temporarily banned “for 14 days” because of 3 infractions within 14 days. Also “coincidentally” I manage to get exactly 3 slaps in a time span of 13 days which causes a temp ban according to site rules.
I can’t even access my PMs and see what I have received the final infraction for. When I post about it on Facebook, my friends can’t even decide on what posts have caused it and they make bets on what the horrible offensive thing I said was (lol)  
A friend and UTT member asks me if it can really be true that I can’t even see the PM from the mod that temp-banned me and I log in to check. My ban has mysteriously been extended 3 days. I have heard a lot of “glitches” of that sort, so I’m sadly not surprised at all. I’m assuming it’s a punishment for daring to write about it on Facebook.
When I log in, a PM notification from the mod Finoriel pops up, but when I click on it, I get returned to my ban-message without being able to read the PM.
When I’m finally off my temporary ban and log in again, the PM from Finoriel is "mysteriously" gone. Instead there is a PM from another mod informing me of how rude and mean I was. Finoriels PM is completely missing. Another “glitch”, like so many other have experienced. 
Oh and just because it’s so sad and stupid that it’s funny, the same whiny creep posted copypasta of his “Women don’t like my hair!”-thread again. Don’t believe me?
Here you go. But hey, let’s not forget that he already had another thread going on this from September 2010. 3 threads started and 15 posts all on “Bohoo, mean shallow girls don’t like long hair on men so I can't score any hot girls!”. But hey, that is not an offense to the LHC moderation team. However pointing out the creepiness of this guy, how offensive he is and how he breaks site rules is.
That should be a sure sign that he didn’t even receive a friendly PM from a mod after his creepy and sexist posts and me reporting him was just as pointless as all the other reports I have made on rude and offensive posts breaking the site rules.  
I’m very grateful I found the Facebook groups and learned what happened to the people I care about and that I’m not the only one suddenly being treated with harsher standards.   
I’m very grateful I found unTamedTresses. It seems like all the cool and awesome people joined up there. I guess I wasn’t the only one trying to find some joy in hair forums again! It often feels like a class reunion.
The operators on unTamedTresses are doing an awesome job at keeping it a friendly place worth visiting. Especially since so many people feel frustrated and persecuted on LHC and want to share their frustrations. UTT still manage to stay positive and keep clear of any anger, even with clear evidence that LHC uses snitches and spies to look for anything they can punish people for.
Absurdly, the LHC mods started systematically banning those who went to UTT by punishing them with complete and total double standards.
The retarded thing is that UTT never was any sort of “Anti LHC headquarters” like it was treated as by the LHC mods. I guess it really showed their true colours that instead of attacking the problems LHC have, everything was blamed on an innocent, independent forum full of people who just wanted to enjoy a hair forum. It was definitely not the forum war as the LHC mods decided it was and handled it as.
Unless everyone I ever talked to or read posts by on UTT was lying to me, no one was ever really angry at LHC. Annoyed and feeling stepped on, yes. Angry and out to destroy LHC? LOL, you serious?
So many people were banned and slapped that it must be clear to everyone that it was systematically harassment of “deserters”.
Again, instead of dealing with LHCs own problems, the mods started a ridiculous thread on how people were negative and destructive to the forum on purpose. The thread was pretty much one long dramatic “We are under attack by these evildoers out to ruin our forum!” It was absolutely ridiculous to everyone except to the new people who naturally had no idea what was going on and would suck up to the mods for something they knew nothing about anyways. Lots of posts from the new people about “Praise the mods! You do an awesome job!” and how awful it is that people “Hold the mods to higher standards than themselves!” followed. Of course by the end of the day, as usual, everything is blamed on those who are unhappy, the mods are saints and the new people get a warm fuzzy feeling for “defending the forum” and sucking up to the mods.
UTT even saw LHC snitches joining them just to stir up things, troll the forum and call people names. The UTT owners handled it beautifully, calmly and rational.
Like someone sarcastically commented on LHC in a Facebook group: “The beatings will continue until morale improves.”

And yet, people who have attacked me repeatedly in rude and very personal ways are left to roam free to continue their attacks on other people. People I have reported several times without hearing anything back about my report. Those people have even proudly bragged, ultra full of themselves about how they never even received a “friendly mod warning”
For the longest time I never understood why the “modding” needed to be so very secret. Now I know it’s so the mods can play favourites in private.
Just to make this ridiculous story complete, the mods decided to do this on my birthday, two weeks later:
I had received so many greetings from my friends on Facebook and unTamed Tresses that it made me curious if I received any on LHC. So I logged in and… My birthday wasn’t listed at all.
I checked my control panel to see if the “Show full age and date of birth” that my settings always have been had somehow undone itself. It was at the right setting, just like it has been for 7½ years. But somehow for no apparent reason my birthday didn’t show.
Very strange indeed.
 The front page had listed 3-4 people I didn’t know with their birthday just right, mine just happened to be missing. I then posted how ridiculous it was on my Facebook page and made a blog post on it and “mysteriously” my birthday suddenly showed 30 minutes later.
The same 3-4 people I didn’t know were still showing, but mine had popped in there too. So it wasn’t anything about the server location and date change since the same people still showed.
If I had asked, it would probably have been explained as an unfortunate “glitch” like oh so many very unfortunate glitches LHC have seen hitting the unwanted members.   
Anyways. Since I was un-banned again some 3 months ago, I have made a grand total of 10 forum posts and 2 blog posts. Two of them could be seen as negative.
3 of the forum posts were about an upcoming meeting in Göteborg, Sweden on Friday the 15th or Saturday the 16th. “Coincidentally”, the LHC moderation staff decided that late Tuesday evening was the time to give me 48 hours notice to more or less pack my things and leave or have my account deactivated. 48 hours would just exactly cut me out of the information flow about the meeting and keep me form going to the meet with everyone else. Oh and it happened to be so "coincidentally" that one of the LHC mods would be at the very same meeting. What a crazy coincidence that she would go there too and they would kick me off the forum just 12 hours or so before the meeting would take place!
I admit I’m not a great fan of forums in general. I have visited some, posted on a few and generally lose interest quick. But I have never experienced this level of bitchiness, mod-suppression and clear, obvious discrimination of members anywhere else. And as one who finds it amusing to visit 4chan, that is saying a lot!
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"People simply disappeared, always during the night. Your name was removed from the registers, every record of everything you had ever done was wiped out, your one-time existence was denied and then forgotten. You were abolished, annihilated: vaporized was the usual word."
- George Orwell, 1984, Book 1, Chapter 1