Keep an Eye Out…

… as the previous posting may “mysteriously disappear” without warning from Audio Circle at any moment. Why? Below is what the customer sent to us after he made the most recent posting above. According to the customer, the following statement was sent to him in a Private Message from the main Owner & Administrator of Audio Circle:

“Hi, Bob Smith is permanently banned from this site. It's been very hard to keep this site going and I really do not want him being promoted here. Could you please find another site for it. Thank you.”

We’re not going to try and make a case out of this about how it is “unfair, yada-yada,” as Audio Circle is a privately owned enterprise so the owner has every right to do as he sees fit. Neither will we go into the details of why we were banned from the website - at least not here in this page/posting. “Dirty Laundry” tends to stink.

Nevertheless, we find the whole matter rather “odd,” if only for the fact that Audio Circle presents itself as a PUBLIC forum. While there are often limits to so-called free speech on most Internet forums (and there should be), if nothing else banning a SUBJECT seems rather “untenable” to us - particularly in the long run and when the subject is a subset of a larger “whole” that is universally perceived as valid.

By “untenable” we mean, “How does one go about ENFORCING such a mandate?” Banning discussions regarding an entire subject may work fine and is often necessary in some settings, such as the banning of discussions regarding religion or politics. Generally speaking, those subjects have nothing to do with audio. This case is different though. From a practical standpoint, how does one go about effectively banning discussions about another person and/or company, especially when that person or company is an active participant and/or player in the market for which the forum in question promotes itself as being an advocate for?

As an example, would it make sense for the owner of an Internet forum that focuses on computer technology to ban all discussions regarding Microsoft because the owner of the forum once had (or still does have) a personal issue with Bill Gates? Of course he would be free to do so if he wishes, but not only might that affect the popularity if his forum (DUH), but the bigger question is how would he go about enforcing it? If Microsoft was a very small company such that very few had ever heard of it, then for as long as Microsoft remained small then maybe the owner of the forum could get away with doing just as the owner of Audio Circle has in this case; i.e., by privately contacting and instructing accordingly each individual member that happens to mention Microsoft or Bill Gates (or TDSS or Bob Smith).

Then again, what happens when “little Microsoft” starts getting bigger - long before it ever becomes GREAT BIG Microsoft? Eventually, at some point the forum owner would not be able to keep up with contacting members individually and privately. Then what? Create a PUBLIC posting stating this rule? That would probably work, but then again it would likely do equally as much to work against the popularity of, and ultimate user participation in, his forum. That seems somewhat “suicidal,” but even then maybe that’s “the hill the forum owner wants to die on.” If he feels that strongly then… “so be it.” Even going that far could be interpreted as being somewhat “noble.” A type of “falling on his sword,” if you will.

But no… the worst is yet to come, and in this we see no redeeming value. You see, unless our forum owner can not only indict but PROVE beyond a reasonable doubt that his opinion of Bill Gates (Bob Smith) is fully warranted, and do so from a superior moral position wherein he himself is above reproach in all areas of the standing conflict between himself and Mr. Gates (Smith), then in doing the above and announcing his personal “vendetta” openly to the world he would effectively be exposing himself to the whole community as being, well… somewhat petty… and certainly rather foolish… and maybe even a bit tyrannical and self-serving = STUPID. Hmm…

Question: So the ultimate question we would ask is this:
WHEN does our “hypothetical” forum owner first become petty, foolish & stupid?

  1. AFTER he goes to such extremes by making a personal issue with an industry participant an openly public matter???


  2. Early-on when the first few incidences of the subject come up and he thinks that by working somewhat “covertly” behind the scenes he can make his feelings known, and in so doing also manage to stick his thumb in the eye of his “enemy;” and yet in his foolish vanity still thinking that he can keep it all under wraps as part of an ongoing act to maintain a public facade of fairness and impartiality???

Answer: #2

Caveat Emptor

As Forest Gump said: “Stupid is as stupid does.”

That means “stupidity” and “stupid thinking” comes FIRST, only to ultimately be followed by stupid behavior. We’ll leave it up to you good folks to finish the rest of this story, but below is all the proof we need in support of our argument.

From a PUBLIC Posting in Audiogon

“jackmonster, I agree with you on all accounts. I follow a couple of forums regularly and when I find something that really works for me I like to share it on an open forum. That has helped me in the past to try different equipment when other folks that pay for the toys write a review.

I wrote the above review on AC and was sent a PM form the "powers that be" to no longer post about Tdss and to find another forum. Well here I am and will no longer visit the other site.

Anyway I noticed the amps getting smoother and more open with added play time. Anyone else experience this?”



Bob Smith