BANNED from A Large Facebook Board Game Group: A Tale of Paid Promotion, Influence, & Intimidation -

BANNED from A Large Facebook Board Game Group: A Tale of Paid Promotion, Influence, & Intimidation

Liege of Games
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#LiegeOfGames #boardgames

I hadn’t felt remotely comfortable or anything except stressed/anxious thinking about trying to comment anything there for months. But little did I know a comment in a completely different group would lead me to where we are now.

I’m really nervous talking about this and doing this video but it’s something that now that things have played out, I felt the need to talk about.

Thanks for watching!

Time Stamp:
00:00 – Not Disclosing Paid Promotion
07:05 – Publisher/Relationships influence?
14:01 – Post Filming Update #1
21:39 – Post Filming Update #2

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  1. Would not be surprised if half of BGR's members are bots… 50k members and most posts don't get more than 150 likes…

  2. Love Reddit in this regards 🙂 Also I not picture you as board game detective and I like the looks. Keep up the good work. I do use facebook (nothing more tbh except for BGG) and ourselves got contacted by these various sites if we want to do paid promo on their page with XY k followers but we ended up not going with it because we didn't see the benefits. Before that I wondered too if these are paid. I couldn't care less for this specific group, more for reviewers and media something.

  3. Good to call out these type of practices. Stay classy and keep it real.

  4. Every time he gets in an argument, he makes a huge post about how he's impoverished and mentally ill. Seems odd. Either he holds it as a shield (if so, pathetic), or he actually needs to hang up his boots. He's a whiny, unlikable person and I hope he gives the leadership to someone more capable

  5. Great video Chris. I remember seeing all these posts and was so confused by the moderation

  6. Congrats on a successful video Chris 🙂 the comment section is a lot more active the usual haha. Keep up the great work

  7. I am not really sure how the Spotlight got wrapped up in this discussion as it’s a very differently run community than the focus of this discussion. Spotlight does have paid banners and sometimes paid livestreams. Those are labeled so no issue there. The type of comments you are experiencing doesn’t happen in the Spotlight. We do have a 90/10 sentiment for sharing self promotion type of content but that’s just to keep the group feed from being overrun with spam.

    If anyone has any question about the Spotlight, I am happy to answer it.

  8. Well, your ban is good in a way, Chris. It caused you to bring this discussion to the foreground. In general and as you noted, people without a platform just have to take that kind of treatment, so glad you're shedding some light.

  9. I don't use FB but I was signed up for their newsletter. I just unsubscribed. Crap and a half.

  10. Perhaps we can get a Chris & BGR colab video up next, talk through concerns, give us an insight into an admin role, what could be improved… 🙃

  11. Haven't watched yet, but will. I was banned because I am a mod in ANOTHER group that banned TC before I was a mod. The mods voted not to allow him back in and I was banned.

    Dude is toxic, it's a shame that that group is one of the MOST active.

    I got no issue w paid stuff, just disclose it.

  12. That dude didn't realize he messed with a bigger dude who has 5K plus reach on a bad day.

  13. It is really shady, I helped a company get in touch with BGR to do a PAID collaboration with BGR on a project and because I "dared" to have my own board game group they banned me from the group and stopped showing all the content that my team paid for… I won't disclose the name of the project or the company as they wish to stay anonymous in fear of repercussions.

  14. It's pretty well known that the banners are purchased in most places, so not sure that's something to be upset about. I mean you be you of course.

    Now BGR and it's toxicity should be called out.

  15. I love the video! These types of groups and mods exist in almost every hobby space today. They are no better than high school cliques running around the internet. It is hard to believe there are actual adults in charge. I laughed when you pointed out the hypocrisy of them commenting on subReddits.

    Paid promotion should ALWAYS be identified as such. Links that are being used as affiliate links should be labeled as such.

    Facebook is partially at fault for allowing promoters to be the admins of groups. Its funny that they actually allow for lost ad revenue in this way. One day they will come with their hand out wanting a slice of the pie too.

  16. #1 they randomly shared some vague message about this today, so I'm glad you put this video up so I could figure out what was going on.

    #2 I stay in the group despite Thomas. I really like their Buy Sell Trade group, but I stay off there for all my boardgame discussions. I usually stick to Boardgamegeek for any discussions.

  17. This behaviour is VERY common in Facebook game groups. Case in point Australian Boardgame Geeks is run by a shop owner who limits everyone else 1 "promotional-esqe" post per week… But happily spams their own promotional posts for their various child projects every day off the week. The irony is they don't even know it themselves that they have killed the "community" aspect of their group. Over 10,000 members and no one else posts to the group. And the admins are literally blind to it. This alone is the key reason I don't bother with generic named groups. I now prefer groups that are literally named by the shop that runs it – 100% transparent!

  18. So you only address this once you get banned. Could have done it ages ago once you noticed it. But now your banned from said page it is suddenly " calling" out. I see someone who's ego got hurt and is using his channel to lash out

  19. Nice of you to go after the mentally ill on mental health awareness month. That's the hill u wanna die on? Cool. I've been a member of that group and I've never had an issue with anyone that moderated or runs that group. He's stated many times the contests he runs and the vids he does is a paid promotion. And it's done in many spots u just apparently missed it or dont pay any attention. If u got banned it wasn't the decision of one person it's a team. Also he's stated many times after being let go bgr is his job it's a business. U don't think Tom Vasel runs his site or his YouTube channel like a business? I never ever see paid promotion on his video either butnu aren't going after him. Yall can all just f off on your hypocritical hil.

  20. Yeah, BGR posted a story about being billed and being mentally unstable a few hours ago. I don't see how asking if a post is a paid promotion should get you banned. It seems a bit heavy handed. I also don't know how asking a question is bullying, but that is the age we live in 😜. Keep up the quality content 👍.

  21. I'm constantly annoyed by posts "algorithm check" to repost promotion links… And I'm not a fan of the person in question either. In many interactions I got the impression that he has a very narcissistic aspect…

  22. Looks like you got the good ole Thomas treatment. Lmao. Welcome to the club. That guy bans people for anything trivially opposing his views regardless of what that view is about.

  23. Thought so its boardgame revolution. I find the main admin of the group, kinda rude and aggressive tbh.

  24. Nothing new here. Same exact behavior from 2018

  25. Well, I just put two and two together and I was also banned from BGR a while back. I'm in the BGE group and saw a mention of BGR, so I joined. There was a post about a campaign (that there was a banner up for at the site) wondering why it was struggling to fund. Might have been a mod that made it, not sure. Normally this game would be right up my alley, but there were a lot of concerns about the game and the publisher, so I voiced those concerns in a comment. I thought it was odd that I didn't get any notifications of other comments later, but didn't really think much about it. Now I realize that I got banned. No warning, no pm, nothing. Scummy.

  26. There is a reason I am very inactive on FB. I simply find the culture very toxic and its not just on board games stuff. But dont get me wrong, its not the platform but rather the people in it.

  27. BGR is an alright group for the Hobby. Thomas Covert comes out as an attention seeker and an ass most of the time. I see him comment on almost every post and sometimes his comments are snarky so I don't really like the guy. I would block him but it's against the rules to block a moderator or admin.
    I'm tired of reading all his personal drama on their too. "Hey guys I learned a lot about myself over the past years. Hey guys I'm doing my best to change. Hey guys moderating this groups isn't as easy as it looks." Like bro shut the hell up it's a board game group not a life development group or whatever.

  28. That is one reason i dont trust facebook anymore. Good to call them out.

  29. Thanks for the discussion and description of your experience. I think so much of the problem is the inability of many to reach out and have effective and vulnerable communication with individuals, especially those with whom they disagree. I imagine it was frustrating to come back from work to a host of messages. I can only wonder how many disputes would be resolved if people took the time to reach out, schedule a time to talk, and conversed openly rather than in one-sided spurts. Hope you’re doing well and enjoy whatever board game hits your table next!

  30. No. You're not the only one who doesn't care. The issue is that they have their space on lockdown. Whereas youtube, the Youtube creator doesn't get a say on what is said, Youtube does. I saw it. I'm not a part of BGR.

  31. I don't get why you want to remedy with him? You have far more desire to see goodwill when there is none. He clearly wants you not there (for obvious reasons you pointed out) but at the same time you do have a platform and you're now giving his group a bad rap. So he's putting on this conciliatory front to outsiders as a form of damage control. You're a good guy (even if I find your intro a little annoying 😉 haha). Just focus on you. You're not missing out on BGR.

  32. IMO all the boardgaming spaces need to do a better job pointing out what is promotional and what isn't. It's gotten to the point that every time one of the recognizable content creators shares a pic or some random member shares their thoughts on a KS project I automatically assume it's an ad. Probably not fair but, like I said, without consistent and firm guidelines for transparency how are we supposed to know the difference?

    It's a shame you decided to take what could have been a productive discussion on transparency within the industry and turned it into two hundred comments crapping all over some dude and mocking his mental health issues.

    It's almost like you didn't actually want to have that larger convo, you just wanted retaliation. But whatever gets those engagement numbers up I guess. I'm sure click bait bullying probably has a great ROI but maybe we can get back to talking about games?

  33. I am reminded of a line from The West Wing episode The Mid-Terms, "Same thing my father would say, 'If they're shooting at you, you know you're doing
    something right.'"
    I've spent my time writing, editing, and selling ads at an Alternative Newsweekly, a community newspaper, and a trade publisher.
    I had the luxury of dedicated sales staff and publishers who understood the importance of editorial independence.
    The second money or goods changes hands, that is a business relationship that should be disclosed.
    It sucks to hear of people struggling mentally or financially. But to put any of that on someone who asked a question, made a comment, or posted a video telling their side of the story, does not seem fair.
    Liege, keep your chin up. You do you. Be upfront, if you make a mistake, own up. You'll do fine.

  34. i have had issues with this guy myself i left the group a while back Stay Hexy!

  35. I just dropped from that group. Yeah, I'm a drop in the bucket, and won't affect anything by leaving. However, that's nonsense I can avoid in the future. Thanks for talking about it.

  36. Thomas Covert is a stain on the board game community. I left that group a long time ago voluntarily solely because of that guy. BGR is atrocious and toxic.

  37. Facebook, Twitter, BGG forums are largely admined by weak folks who claim to be all about inclusion yet act like bullies while applying derogatory labels to those who are not in their click. Social media is just the extension of high school emotional behaviors into adult life. Kick the dust off from your sandals… we all still love you. 🙂

    Seems like a petty mod who should be removed as a mod if he cannot manage without personalizing things.

  38. Sounds like it’s getting as bad as that garbage site BGG .. they hate American Patriots!

  39. Sorry to hear it happened to you. For that very specific reason, I don't engage much unless I want to help someone out about some ruling and stuff or to say nice things. I see internet as a place where it can be hard to contradict people, without getting ban/kick/booted/muted and it sucks. We're all adults, how it is so hard to have a conversation these days?

    I suppose people are too entitled with their opinion and/or what they are doing. It's sad that it's often a negative minority that impact the others.

    I hope it won't affect your content creation. From the start, you've always been real and that's a reason I'm still here listening to you and watching your content. Keep it up man and may the best of success comes to you. 😉

  40. it's a problem of boardgame culture where some people try to be so inclusive (likely genuinely), they become the most exclusive people around. you are at least a native speaker. imagine the minefield non-native ones have to navigate.

  41. Disclosure is very importaint. Another problematic thing in this situation is the negative impression it leaves of the companies that do buisness with these people.
    I do hope they pay attention.

  42. I clocked that the group had relationships with publishers/campaigns a while ago. Doesn't bother me overly because they don't do a particularly hard sell. But I had no idea they were treating people like this for having the audacity to notice. That's really bizarre. Must think they're way more subtle than they are!!

  43. Like someone else here said: There's clear rules how advertisements have to be labeled, and if the group owner doesn't label them that way, he can get in legal trouble, so it's good that you spoke up.
    It's also unacceptable when someone gets banned for speaking up, that immediately shows bad faith from the owner and a missing ability for introspection. You can talk in a normal way about opinions.
    In the comments here I'm a bit saddened to see that this topic is again politicised.
    Toxic environments exist in all areas, using them as example for any political message just makes it feel that everyone who does or doesn't agree with those environments has a political leaning.

    But you can be against toxic things without any political opinion and someone doing toxic things doesn't need to do them because of a political leaning.

  44. This is a very important topic. Thank you for bringing this up Chris.

  45. This group is very toxic and the admins are shady and even abusive. They harass in PMs, call racists slurs and promote attacks on other groups all that for meaningless petty things. I have even read a comment down bellow from BGR that claims that they don't sell the banner space, but I have their marketing kit on hand and it is clearly stated as a PAID YES PAID product in their bundles. Also nobody cares for the mental problems of the admin that cries once per month, either shut up and do your job or back down and go sick therapy, we are not your therapy session neither your puppets…

  46. My comment about a game not being for me was questionned. I got a DM about it. I should be able to say what I don't like about a game without being questionned about it further. I like talking shop about games, what makes it tick and what turns me on or off a game. I have limited disposible income as most of us do. I have a grand total of 8 projects I backed in 2+ years. This FB group is only about paid promotion. Maybe a good follow up to this would be good FB groups that allow discussion.

  47. It's funny that 2 min in. When you blur his face, everybody knows who it is you are talking about. I have seen this guy been rude to people for the last couple of years on FB and have actively avoided groups he is involved in. I think that publishers should be aware when paying individuals like him that it can backfire to them as well.

  48. He's a dick… He's known for this stuff. Pretty sure he booted me once early in my boardgame hobby. And he axed a post I made about Edgeguard, who I was an unpaid playtester for. Hold strong. He is not popular for this reason.

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