Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Bear411 censorship confirmed

As planned, I spent a good while on Bear411 last night. I messaged everyone in my guestbook and asked them to read my blog, which is linked in my profile. Then I messaged anyone who was signed in until my hands were cramping. I probably IMed 100 to 150 people. Many were shocked to hear about the site's nefarious doings and a few said they'd cancel their accounts. Some were skeptical. One good friend was recently interviewed by a bear magazine about the situation and told them he thought the complaints were just a lot of exaggerated drama.

This morning I discovered my account had been canceled without notice. What a shame that a social networking site has taken such a firm stand against free speech. Someone may have reported me for badmouthing the site, but based on other members' accounts it's just as likely that my IMs were monitored by the webmaster. It makes my skin crawl to think of the conversations I've had over the years that the creep was probably reading. It's like something out of a bad movie. I'd love to hear from anyone else who had his account canceled for discussing the site privately.

I can't imagine why anyone who knows what's going on would continue to use Bear411. I thought most people used chat sites with some expectation of privacy, but maybe not. And judging by the number of bloggers who have spoken out in support of the membership practices, discrimination is not a concern for many. What a sad state of affairs.

Anyway, I'm glad to be moving on and look forward to discovering better chat sites.