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Beer Advocate Spent the Weekend Banning Members [UPDATED]

BeerAdvocate Image

One of the most popular beer rating websites in the world went on another banning frenzy over the weekend. The moderators at BeerAdvocate.com, namely Jason and Todd Alstrom look to be the culprits.

Beer Street Journal was contacted by a few members that found their accounts suspended or banned. As it turns out, some of the banning has to do with with their involvement with a relatively new site, beertrading.org. BeerAdvocate has its own community of beer traders on their site as well. “The bros” as they are called, don’t seem to take to kindly to the potential competition.

Digging deeper, I contacted members of BeerTrading.org to find what their interpretations were on the situation. I didn’t find a lot (any) nice comments about the Alstroms. Accounts were banned for reasons like “Under Investigation” or “Dupe Account/Not Mature Enough.” Also, anyone found insulting or criticizing the Alstroms, their site, or their heavy handed banning, were banned as well. Especially when their user names and avatars were the same on the beertrading.org site.

The loss of years of Beer Advocate reviews seems to be the biggest complaint amongst those banned.

Let me tell you, it doesn’t take much to get banned from BA. I was banned last year for posting the backlash from Todd Alstrom tweeting about a family’s car being towed out of the Beer Advocate parking lot ahead of a hurricane hitting Boston.

Were you banned from Beer Advocate over the weekend? Were you given a reason? Drop a message below. You won’t get banned we promise.

Update 9/30, 2:30 pm.   I received this from a member that was banned from BeerAdvocate.com over the weekend. Some information was redacted to maintain a certain privacy level.

Co-founder Jason Alstrom has sent out emails to individual employers, mentioning forum abuse, and passively threatening legal matters as you see in the screenshot below. This comes from a tipster that is 2nd in command at their company.

Alstrom Email

 

80 thoughts on “Beer Advocate Spent the Weekend Banning Members [UPDATED]

  1. Banned as well for “account under investigation”. I make maybe 2-3 posts a month on BeerAdvocate and did absolutely nothing to warrant my banhammer, other than participate on beertrading.org. You know it is starting to get bad when they are banning people that don’t even post in the forums. Even better, they sent an email to many of us last night to renew magazine subscriptions.

  2. Banned for saying people should request phone #’s when initiating trades because of all the banning going on

  3. I haven’t been banned (yet), but have found that now BA is completely useless to me. The majority of my trading partners, contacts, and friends from BA have shifted over to http://www.beertrading.org, and logging into BA just fills me with disdain at how dumbed down the Beer Talk forum is, and how much of a joke their trading forum is as well.

    And god forbid you have a sense of humor. I imagine the moderators to be very non-social drinkers. Having a beer and posting something while drunk is what made BA so great to read in the morning just a couple of years ago. Now, it’s just repetitive threads about IPAs and pumpkin beer, and wildfires of lopsided trade threads every weekend when some stupid beer is released.

    I, for one, will not miss BA when I inevitably am removed.

  4. The best Ban reason I’ve seen so far is from a long time member and one of the best reviewers and contributors of the site.
    BeerAdvocate Community – Error
    You have been banned for the following reason: Does not deserve to be on BA.

  5. I was threatened with a ban twice, didn’t happen either time. Once for ripping them apart about how they handled EBF and the snowstorm (and *allegedly* drank a number of the beers that had already been delivered, but claimed they were returned to the distributors), and once for referring to Candace as a bitch after her Kate the Great day rant.

    • It’s a whole underworld for sure. I would stick to friends in other cities/states. Get to know people first. Forums can be great. But sometimes, people can be hard to work with. (Trade with.)

  6. ROFL at Jason linking that thread he and his clown brother put on BA. Sorry J-boy – people are wise to you. Go eat some more cake.

  7. The heavy handed police state the brothers run over there is going to ruin their business. As they lose customers by banning them and others leave because of their insane level of moderation, their business will go down the tubes. They used to be the only game in town, but now there are alternatives.

    I cant say I feel bad for them, they have run many great members off of their site and alienated many others. I for one and laughing my ass off at them as they chase away their customers.

      • I upvoted myself just like Jason & Tawd did on their oldp0rt post. I’m really immersing myself in the role.

        I stubbed my toe this morning. As a result, I’ve written down every name that is here and am banning all of you.

        Slightly disgusted with my own actions, so I just banned myself too.

    • Let the censorship by the BA police continue! Everyone who reads this post should tell 5 or 10 of their beer drinking buddies what is going on over at BA as the bros continue their war on free speech.

  8. The “Bros” got to get that stick out. They never allow “entertaining” conversation. Lets just list our top 5 favorite IPA’s again.

  9. Thanks for doing this Reid. What has happened around the internet beer world these last few days is ridiculous. As someone who was affected by this whole fiasco I honestly couldn’t care less. Ba has been on a suicidal (thanks todd ;) ) downward spiral for quite some time now. The funny (read cowardly) part to me is that after banning a large portion of their longest time users that the “bros” don’t have the dignity or courage to delete the banned users contributed content to their site. i understand that it is their property to do what they will with, but there are thousands of beer reviews/content that is tied up in this. If the “bros” weren’t too busy acting like children and taking their ball and going home- for all practical purpose STEALING the banned users contributions- they might learn to bring back the focus to themselves and get to the true root of the problem.

    • Just because you write up a ToS that says you are entitled to all of someone’s contributions, it doesn’t make it so.

  10. I have not been banned. But I don’t post there anymore. Until the industry and brewers stop affiliating with them and people stop attending their festivals, the Alstroms will continue to treat people like shit. Screw the ticks, stop attending their festivals. Ask your local shop to pull the BA shelftags. Stop giving the site revenue with clicks. The Alstroms have not been hit in the pocketbook, which is why they continue their unprofessional and dictatorial behavior.

  11. I was banned for the same reason. I posted the thread that linked Todd’s Hurricane Sandy Tweet to BA’s site.

    They don’t take criticism too well, nor competition, nor disagreements.

  12. Geez, and Jason used to be the reasonable one. I was hoping that Todd and the bitch moving to Denver would be a good thing as Jason could better reflect on how BA should be run. I guess the opposite has happened.

  13. Wow, some former BA’s gonna get paid if this goes to court! Which states and federal jurisdictions have the tort of unlawful interference with employment/contractual obligations? Harassment? They’re not looking good over there at that website. . .

    • how many people did they ban will attend GABF and run into them? If I was one of the people who’s employer they e-mailed and I ran into them, it would not end well for all parties involved.

  14. HA! Hadn’t given BA a second glance or thought since getting the axe nearly 7 years ago. Nice to know that in this ever evolving world of ours, some things never change. BA doesn’t care about you. Any of you. You are only as valuable as the content you provide, merch and magazines you buy and fests you attend. Having never subscribed to their rag, bought the merch or attended a fest since 2006, I can honestly say I don’t miss any of it. Those members I was close with I still chat up or meet up with elsewhere. You can too.

  15. BeerAdvocate has become such a very sad place, gone is any sense of community that it once had. It is ran by Nazi like Gestapo “The Bros” who love to wave there iron fist to keep the users in fear of a “digital execution.” I for one have no use for such a site and have been thoroughly pleased by BeerTrading.org and it’s moderators and thus I see no reason to ever use BA again. I calmly wait for ban hammer to fall knowing it is looming overhead and could drop any minute, I could care less. See you on BT! Oh and who really thinks a neckbeard is cool, serious.

  16. I would just like to add that I have been banned several times for the most trivial stuff. It is laughable. BA Forum is the least fun forum I have ever been on.

  17. i would love to get a good look at their books. if what some people are saying is true- that ba solicited $ for site upkeep and mobile app development and then used that $ for other things- they could get into a lot more trouble than they know.

    • Yeah, a lot more trouble than the trouble they are trying to get people in by emailing their employers claiming they violated the BA TOS! How ludicrous is that, do the Bros think they are dictators of a country!

    • The bros have made a lot of enemies with their heavy handed practices. There are a lot of smart people out there who have been aggrieved by the bros, if I was them I would tread carefully because those people are going to fight back if pushed. The Bros may rule their little kingdom but are nothing outside of it. They are actually cowards and bullies by trying to silence and discussion.

  18. I guess I had better copy all my reviews, just in case… I already lost “duplicate” reviews because I would review a beer multiple times (on draft, on cask, in a bottle) and the Bros decided to revise the practice. They said the reviews would be e-mailed to the members, but it hasn’t happened yet. That was over a year ago, right?

  19. I’m a 58 year old life long beer lover and after seeing BA’s beer lists a couple of days ago, I thought I must be missing out on some good beers. There’s a place near me that sales single bottles, so yesterday I bought about 5 beers that tops BA’s 250 list. And my honest conclusion is that there wasn’t a beer that I sampled that I thought was good and would want to have another. And the crazy thing is that the best beers in the world don’t even make there list. Something ain’t right at that site that’s for sure!

  20. I know what the Bros (at least Todd) is thinking: if you don’t like it, don’t use it. And that’s true and it’s their website–they can run it as heavy-handed and dickish as they want, but I think their involvement in the beer community has done significant damage. As comments here noted, on the site the discussion is just plain unfun and the beer snobbery is terrible and THIS is the site that most budding craft beer fans will start off on THIS is where their start their education on how we talk about beer and how beer lovers interact and it is not good. I’ve been on and off BA for 7-8 years now, and while there’s a lot of awesome and knowledgeable people there, I was always struck by the consistently hateful spirit that crops up in almost every thread. This hateful snobbery has been creeping into the real beer world for the last 5+ years. I hope as more of these stories come out they will start to be taken less seriously and that newbies will turn somewhere else.

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