Russell Beattie Bans Threadwatch


UPDATE: Check the end of the post for some more on this sorry tale...

Im not sure why, but it appears that "A list" Yahoo! blogger Russell Beattie has banned me from his website. I cant access it without a proxy and my comments inquiring if there is a problem have not been published or answered in email.

I did leave a long and thoughtful comment on this entry a few days back that did not agree with what Russell was saying - it wasn't rude, or in any way shape or form nasty, but it did disagree with his thoughts on the subject. The comment i spent 45 minutes writing was not published.

Is that the source of contention and the reason for being IP blocked?

What do you do with comments that do not agree with your point?

Other than a personal post to publically inquire as to what's going on with Russell there is a larger and more interesting point to all this: How do you handle posts and comments that do not agree with your view on subjects?

For my part, i love the debate - i enjoy the discussions here and at most other places where a group of people all tackle an issue or topic from differing angles and perspectives, even if they're vastly different to my own. This is a good thing. It's what makes the whole interactive discussion on blogs and forums actually worth reading, at least for me.

With companies there might be exceptions, and with normal forum and blog comments also. Clearly if someone is simply out to discredit a company or product it's unwise to leave the comment standing, unless the misperception, if that's what it is, can be quickly and authoratively dealt with.

These topics tie in nicely with discussions we've recently had on moderating online communities and how to handle mistakes as dealing with unwanted criticism is all part and parcel of running a website with comments enabled.

Russell, whatever your issue with me is, why dont you just drop me an email or pm me, these things aren't usually difficult to work out but im at an absolute loss as to where the problem might lie. Thanks.

After several attempts to reason with Yahoo's Russell Beattie in a grown up manner i've had to give up. The man is clearly lacking in social skills and continues to act like a baby becuase people want to argue an opposing view. Further more, to add to the growing whinefest initiated at Jermemy's blog - and quite frankly i would have expected a little bettor of him - Six Apart's Anil Dash joins the tearful group of children who dont want their places of work mentioned when you reference them in a post.

Anil is well know as a snivelling little man who appears not to be able to post anything but general whining at this that or the other but the point here is whether companies should be mentioned when you post about someone.

Mentioning Company Names

So, Jeremy, and Anil and a bunch of unknowns to me are all having a little cry about a company name being mentioned eh? Well, grow up boys - if you work for a recognized company, and a sites readers may not know the person you're refering to then it's pretty much standard practice in all media to say "John Smith of Acme Co." or suchlike - this is nothng new, so get over it.

I've tried very hard to be patient and polite with this crowd but if they continue to act like children, they'll have to be spanked.



Behind all that self congratualatory crud… He’s probably a really modest bloke; he couldn’t take the flattery of being regarded as A list…

Personally I would even put him on a sick list!

NFFC, right on! (and hey, I'm gonna defend blogging here again)

Right on, NFFC. Everyone has the right to his or her opinions, the right to censor others' opinions in their private spaces, and so on. Gotta love the Interweb indeed :)

But I'm gonna once again tweak Nick for making this a "whiny blogger" thing. Are there thin-skinned bloggers who throw hissy fits? Sure are. Same thing with newspaper editors, TV anchorpeople, and so on.

Please address the person, not the medium. Because -- at least in blogging -- for every Winer and Beattie out there, there's also a Scoble, a Parsons, and other bloggers who respect and listen to those with sharply (and occasionally harshly) contrasting opinions.

Just call me the resident TW BloggerDefender :D

[quote] I wasn't sure whether

I wasn't sure whether to link that, not sure if he's just trying to be controversial to drum up traffic...

Spot on Paul - absolutely brilliant mind; if that was what his tactics were. -Drum up contoversy within the SEO community and everryone will pile in with lots of good on topic links. Sometimes it makes you wonder who the SEOs really are?

Don't you just love the www

I think its great that a webmaster can choose to ban whomever he likes, I also think its great that someone can call him a lardy arsed prat for doing so.

I've said it before but...I love the www.

my two coins on the subject ...

... a replication from zawodny's weblog, because lord knows I was nearly too lazy to write it, I can't very well expect you people to read it, and I like the sound of my own virtual voice ;)

Mr Anil Dash said:

At some basic level, I don't understand people who'd want to go to a party they weren't invited to. I have even less comprehension of people who want to crash a party they were specifically uninvited to. It's not going to be fun for the guests, the host, or the crasher."

so I replied, in all my inelegant glory:
I am a flawed analogy, hear me roar. Do your parties routinely invite the internet populace? Perhaps even your whole town/district/borough? I doubt it. Do something publically and people watch. Do something negative publically -- to someone else with a voice(!) -- and people respond. This is PR-101, and should perhaps be even more obvious to you web publishing folk, who routinely deal with discussions and news in a rapid time-frame. Responses happen.

(FYI, I had no idea who this Beattie fellow was. I don't care, either. But I appreciate being told why he is cropping up on a SEM site article. So I'm glad pertinent information was provided, as I'd expect -- nay, demand! -- from anyone trying to interest me in something I have no prior knowledge of.)

FWIW, I don't think it deserved to be front-page material on threadwatch, but its a small mistake.

(markup added for clarity)


I've been told he's always been a child when it comes to getting his own way...

I've had to update this post, then that's it - i've tried and tried but im sick of whiney bloggers who want to be able to post publically and never have their company name mentioned - how fucked up can you get?

Lardy arsed prat.

Let it Go

Probably best to just let it go. Russell recently had some wacko stalking him and that is enough to make anyone cautious. Nobody should have to be considered right in this or even have the last word and these things do tend to escalate out of control.

As NFFC says, words are very powerful things.

Bonehead Blogger

After he banned me a few weeks ago, for some things I said about him, now he's banned Threadwatch as well.

SEO Distrust again.....

Doesn't this just go back to the whole thing of the lack of trust of the "SEO Crowd".

Not to say you were doing what Russell has basically accused you of Nick, just that that's the general idea people seem to have. Blog spams a big problem isn't it. Some can get a bit over zealous about it :) Suddenly SEO's are spammers because they dare leave a comment in a blog with also has a link to their site.

Always going to be people who take it a bit too far, as I think Russell has here. At the end of the day though, it is his blog, he has absolute rights to delete/ban people if he wants. You know what forums are like Nick, they are the same at times :) (some more than others)

Charm indeed...


Just when you thought Russ couldn't get any cuddlier:

Well, good. I'm glad I get to teach everyone the lesson right away that this space is mine and mine alone. I write whatever I want here about anything I want and that will continue. I also moderate all comments based on no more than my whim and mood (better use your own blog if you really want to say something). And I also have a one-click method for banning anyone that I feel like by their IP address. No justification required! Pretty cool, hey? I think so! And if you don't like it, well you can just stop reading my blog! Any time you want, really! Distrust everything I say and ignore me completely. Seriously! Go away and don't come back! Shoo!

Now, i really wish i'd read that before i attempted to be cool about all this yet again at Jeremy's blog:

Ok, this has all got a little out of hand since i went to bed last night heh...

Well, first off jermemy, im dragging Yahoo nowhere. I've been following Russell's blog since around September last year i think which is quite a long time before he became involved with Yahoo. I still follow Russell's blog, only now i have had to create a new profile in Firefox that uses a proxy and does some other stealth stuff so that I can actually read it.

This is a great shame. Russell's blog remains one of my favorite destinations despite this sillines and it's a pain to have go Stealth in order to view the site.

Russell, you could actually just ask me not to comment, i'd respect your wishes. It does seem a shame though, i've been commenting on your blog for months and always put a lot of thought into my posts - they usually take quite a bit of my time but i've always thought adding a little value was worth the effort at your site and am hurt that you dont see it that way.

Please unblock my IP and i'll just refrain from participating if that's your wish.

Jeremy, Russell works for Yahoo. These small details are interesting to readers. You can hardly label my post as "dragging yahoo into it" when all i did was mention yahoo. Maybe your just pissed off so i'll afford you the dubious benefit of my doubt hehh.. but go take another look at my post, i've hardly made a scene about now have I?

How rich ord chooses to write is somewhat out of my hands - that's twice he's considered me news this weekend and i must say im a little overwhelmed by all the attention but as i've spoken to rich a few times and know him to be a nice fella, i'll leave it to you and russell to berate him for his crimes.

In summary.

Im happy not to comment on russells blog but i will continue reading it - you cannot stop me at the ip level unless you want to set traps for thousands of different proxies. This is silly.

I've always commented well on Russells site, and put a lot of thought and care into my remarks - i am mystified as to why I've now apparently become a leper - in the absense of any denial by russell im going to run with the theory that it's because i disagreed with him. This is silly.

I've not dragged yahoo into anything. You know that Jeremy. This is silly.

Russell could have emailed me or spoken to me in some fashion, im a nice, reasonable kinda chap that's not in the habbit of abusing websites i enjoy or deliberately pissing of it's owners. Banning at IP level with no thought or communication? This is silly.

As im still enjoying Russells site, despite efforts to keep me out (which is silly) im going to leave this and go have a cig and coffee as i've only just woken up and have spent far too much time messing with what essentially, is silly.

Russ, if you want to reach me, you can do it here, your blog, or your welcome to post on my blog of course - my email is

if you'd prefer to talk in private - let's quit this silliness eh?

Catch you later guys....

If i'd read Russell's rather er... foot stompish rant first i may have been inclined to be less civil.

Oh well, im kinda glad i didn't - i have my way of doing things and he clearly has his. Whatever, back to business....

Charm offensive

That's quite a charm offensive Russell's on in his moderating policy. :)

Seems odd that someone would want to publish information relating to the industry they're in - and then try and ban industry commentators from actually accessing it. was said, it's his sandbox.

Russell confirms 'seo crowd' ban.

Russell comments at Jeremy Zawodny's blog that he has banned some of the "seo crowd" because he thinks they are trying to "drum up controversy and traffic to their sites." He has also laid out his moderating policy - no more than whim and mood - at his own blog. I wasn't sure whether to link that, not sure if he's just trying to be controversial to drum up traffic...

Yea let's ban everyone who do

Yea let's ban everyone who doesn't agree with our opinion, then we can go down to the museum and rip down all the paintings we don't like, and after that lets swing by the library and burn all those books we find offensive.

The Issue?

Until it's confirmed that TW is or is notblocked, I'm not sure what the issue is. Right now it's an accusation. I figured that was obvious.

In any case, it's Russell's blog, and he's free do what he wants with it. If that pisses some folks off, it wouldn't be the first time.

Why not address the issue, though?

Hey Jeremy,

I saw your similar comment on your blog, but I was a bit puzzled at the one-sidedness of your frustration. Why no comments about the actual allegation at issue... something like:

- "Hey, we don't really know for sure that Russell IP-blocked folks; let's hold judgement 'til we know the facts" OR
- "Hmm... that seems like unreasonable and unpleasant behavior to selectively ban commenters" OR
- "Damn, the guy has every right to ban twits from his blog, so go jump in a lake."

I can understand the annoyance you feel about having a company (your company) tarred with allegations about a specific person who does not represent your company... but to completely ignore the issue at hand seems a bit odd.


Russell is known as a Mobile blogger. He's only recently become part of Yahoo.

Why are you trying to drag the Yahoo affiliation in?

it's his blog, he can obvious

it's his blog, he can obviously do what he likes with it. knowledge of this and graywolf's experience does make you read it with your scepticism filters full up though. but then, they were already on for other reasons so no biggie.

I do ban SOME stuff from my blog, but not that much.

The list:
- Comments that don't at all refer to the actual post, or the earlier replies ("Hey, anyone got a crack for Photoshop?")
- Spam (no examples necessary, I figure)
- Anything that significantly breaches my privacy or the privacy of others ("So, Adam, still living at [address]?")
- Libel ("I heard that [bloggername] is a registered sex offender")

But if someone wants to call me a fucking moron or blast my opinions or anything like that, they're certainly welcome to do so on my blog or my forum. Heck, I'd actually appreciate a bit of a debate on my ideas now and then, especially a thoughtful debate! :)

Depends on the post... to what extactly I do. If they're beyond hope of reasoning, I pass them off with a noncommital comment like "Hey, you've brought a whole new level of diversity to my comments!" in reponse to someone who said Hitler was a hero. If they're making some kind of civil substantive argument, I respond in kind. Then there are the posts that just make me sharpen my teeth and jump in. Sadly, they usually leave after that.

But I never delete posts, nor do I ban people who disagree with me. That strikes me as a bit sad, really... as though the site owner doesn't have enough confidience in his own reasoning/writing/opinions to allow dissent.

Join the Club

After my little "debate" with him he banned me too

If you can't take the heat stay out of the kitchen.

Nothing much

It wasnt anything particularly exciting Wit, just some stuff about monetizing blogs - i talked a bit about some of the experiments we've done (and are going to do) here and generally just waffled a bit on a topic of interest heh..

I noticed... also take most criticism (if any) standing up, Nick. And I admire that a lot. Same with your tendency to give Russell (& others) the benefit of the doubt, and the opportunity to comment/react. Just for that, I won't ask you what your 45-minute-comment was - exactly :-)

Maybe he had no comeback to y

Maybe he had no comeback to your lengthy response and decided it was easier to just remove it.

I never remove comments from people that disagree with me. It's always good to get other peoples views on things, especially if it turns out they're right and your wrong. That's the only way to learn... and after all knowledge is power.