In the tradition of the Hatfields vs. the McCoys, the Montagues vs. the Capulets, and Hamilton vs. Burr, we now have the website “College Confidential” vs. me, aka “@hyppymom.” The only difference is that this feud is nonlethal and way, way dumber.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with “College Confidential,” it’s a website and forums for students and parents who are involved in the college admissions process. There is some useful information there. And a lot of dreck. For instance, on the Harvard forum, one of the current topics is “How impressive is getting a 36 on the ACT and also perfect grades?” The answer? Very impressive. Also, you’re a jerk. So you’re perfect for Harvard.
Anyway, over Labor Day weekend, I was looking for a distraction, so I posted a link to my Hippie College Guide on College Confidential. It stayed up for a few hours, and I got some positive feedback. Then, without notice or explanation, I was locked out. At that point, I figured out I must have violated some rule, so I looked at the rules. They did say no links to blogs. Ok. My bad.
So I created a new account, @hyppymom (showing just how easy it is to get around their bans), and posted an excerpt of the blog. No links. I was overwhelmed with positive feedback — on the College Confidential forum and through private messages. Days passed, I posted more content and got more great feedback. Then suddenly, and without notice or explanation, I was unable to post any content. I contacted the site. No response. I managed to sneak back on the site (again, so easy to bypass their ban) to explain to my by-then sizable audience that I wouldn’t be posting anymore because I had apparently been banned by the moderators.
There was a minor uproar among my readers — accompanied by a couple of “you know, she was kind of annoying” comments. (So very true. Boo will confirm that I can be quite annoying.) But at that point, College Confidential relented, sending me a message that I had been “unbanned” — a message that would only make sense if I had, in fact, been banned.
Meanwhile, there was a hilarious and nearly incomprehensible message posted on the forum by the CC moderator as follows:
As a reminder, discussion of a moderator’s actions is not allowed on the forums. You want to ask a mod about his/her actions, send him/her a PM. I have deleted several posts bemoaning a user that someone assumed was banned; she was not. So not only were a moderator’s theoretical actions discussed, the underlying assumption was incorrect.”
Okey dokey. That’s some fine writing there. No discussions of a moderator’s actual or theoretical actions that did not occur (even though they did, in fact, occur). Got it.
Whatever. I publicly thanked the moderator and decided to play nice on the forum — which I scrupulously did. My following posts included such controversial topics as the setting of the play, “Our Town” and my unfamiliarity with Antioch College. Scandalous!
I’ll admit that I wasn’t quite as nice on my Facebook page. It was at that point that things got weird(er). I received my one and only substantive message from the CC moderator who was upset by something snarky I had said on my Facebook page. The CC moderator warned me that I better behave on the CC forum — which I was doing.
In other words, the CC moderator had tracked down my Facebook page and then complained about what s/he saw there. That message was the only substantive contact I got from College Confidential about the “objectionable” content of my writing. Really? Don’t they have something better to do than worry about what’s on my Facebook page? (I clearly don’t, but it’s my Facebook page.)
At that point, we began an insane series of bans and releases. Every time I posted something on the forum — no matter how innocuous — I was locked out. I would contact CC privately asking politely to be released. Hours later, I would get a message saying that I was “unbanned.” Rinse and repeat.
After this had happened about a half a dozen times, I posted a snarky comment on my Facebook page comparing CC to Dean Wormer from “Animal House” and questioning whether I was on “double secret probation” because the CC moderator was banning and unbanning me constantly and without explanation.
It must have been my “double secret probation” post on Facebook that sent the CC moderator over the edge. I was banned again. This time, however, my repeated polite requests to be unbanned have been ignored. So it looks like @hyppymom is history at College Confidential because of what I posted on my Facebook page. Sorry they didn’t like my free content.
So that’s where we are now. See? I told you it was dumb. Stay tuned.
UPDATE: I posted the last two segments of the Ohio trip and a farewell on CC. It was immediately removed and I was banned again. Surprise!
And so ends the feud between CC and me. It was fun while it lasted. Getting under their skin may have been the most fun of all. But I’m a grownup (Hate that!) and like to use my powers for good and not evil. So I’m calling it a day.
AND ANOTHER UPDATE: The World’s Dumbest Feud got even dumber!