I'm sure you don't know me nor follow me on Facebook. Let me assure you that this article is not clickbait. I believe in good karma. Hence I share resources and answer newbies' questions on these groups when I don't create websites for clients or when I'm done with my mod duties at DEV.to.
I was blocked/banned on these Facebook groups. Based on the conversations I had with the owners, if my memory serves me right, the past conversations I had with a member or the owner, some said I was trolling their members or them per se.
Others took it personally. While others obviously have a different purpose for the group: to sell online courses. Those online course targets uneducated masses that seem to not know anything online, except to find the scoop or also known as chismis on Facebook, and memes, of course. And if you purchase and analyze the system, ALL INFORMATION IS AVAILABLE OUT IN THE OPEN USING THE RIGHT KEYWORDS. If not all, most are plagiarized - or probably had the course made on Fiverr for peanuts.
Before I tell the story, I saved your precious time by including a screenshot from Wikipedia of what an internet troll is.
Group 1 a.k.a. The Spiritual Group
The Spiritual Group is one of the largest Filipino Freelance groups on Facebook. One of the owners share her knowledge through a paid course in dropshipping and gets students to enroll in using her group. Coffeezilla where art tho?
A few days before I got banned, I noticed that I always got mobbed in the comments for sharing a google link on the poster's question of what she asked. A few days before I saw I was getting mobbed, one of the owners, which we'll name Bihll Gahtes reached out and asked if I want to be a moderator of their group.
When I reached out to Bihll Gahtes and told him that I got banned from the group, he mentioned that the admins and mods voted to remove me. Many group members reported me to the admins and got mad at what I did in the comments section of posts. What again do I do? I help by answering, right? So what's the problem here? Was it because people who think I'm a troll really have a hard time understanding without being spoon-fed or because the people who think I'm a troll bought their course? Out of the hundreds of thank yous and engagement on the resources I've shared vs. the handful of heated arguments their members started. What really happened? I'll leave this question for you to paint the picture.
Group 2 a.k.a. The Minions
The owner gives out free content to give you a brief idea of what skills can be marketed. He also goes live once in a while to provide free training. Mad props to you!
While I stand with Gary Vaynerchuck, who believes that those who sell products without giving free content are scams. Let me tell you why I got removed from this group.
If my memory serves me right. A heated argument led to my removal from the group. An argument that led to the minions cross-checking my name on their database of students. Hilarious action if you'd ask me. How can they tell when students share login details to his/her friend because of the price of their well-googled courses? Paint the picture.
Group 3 a.k.a The Enmity
Don't get me wrong on that laugh. Whenever I think of this group, I recall how controlling we were on the members, and if one wasn't engaging on our posts, we wouldn't have thoughts on kicking them out of the group. As of writing, a member of one of my own groups randomly vented out that if they don't buy The Enmity's merch, they will get kicked out of the group.
You might be wondering why I used we above. Remember when I said I shared free resources on The Spiritual Group? Yeah, the group owner used to engage and "purposely praise, question and wonder" about the free resources I share in The Spiritual Group. The Spiritual Group admins immediately removed him from the group when they noticed that he was just engaging to get followers for his page. A desperate move, if you'd ask me.
Now back to the story.
I dropped many freelancers' resources ranging from design assets to website hosting platforms to accounting software to top university courses, all free or freemium. Name it, and for sure, 95% of what you name, I dropped on that group. I also hosted an online group chat via zoom late at night for those who need someone to talk to, mainly for watercoolers. The group also reaches out to veteran freelancers to host a live tutorial on different niches for the newbies. If my memory serves me right, I also did live coding inside the group. During live sessions, it's known that people will ask the host questions about what he/she is doing.
Are you ready for why I got blocked?
Oh wait, did I mention that the owner added new group moderators to the group without discussing with the main admins why he wanted them to be moderators? This is where it all starts.
The original admins agreed that he'd be the bad cop and I'd be the good cop. Since the owner and I were known as the founders of the group, most admins agreed. In my understanding, playing good cop, bad cop only applies to the outside world, outside the admin world.
In one live session, I, as an admin, is privileged to join the host's zoom call since we provide a premium zoom account for the session's host. Now, pardon my french, but f*ck you PLDT. I asked the host questions related to what he/she was teaching when they mistakenly thought that I was trolling. My half-intoxicated-from-beer self asked questions about what the host was leading when a snowflake moderator suddenly kicked me out of the zoom call because my audio was jumping. They couldn't understand what I was saying. Geez. Thanks, PLDT. An admin, who holds a higher position than a moderator, led to kicking the group's moderator. The next thing I know, I was getting notified on Facebook Messenger about getting kicked out of the group chats. I slept it off and blocked every admin and moderator on my profile and on my page. Hehe. I don't need strangers. And besides, I realized that the group was a breeding ground of sexual predators and outsourcers who get jobs at high fees and pay outsources peanuts. Plus, the owner receives all kinds of data from members, including email, full name, birthday, photos, and videos of members in undies, including women.
Be the judge on who was right or wrong.
Group 4 a.k.a. The Pinata
It wasn't long ago when I discovered this group. On the little memory that I remember about my group engagement, the one conversation I had with the group owner is still fresh. It was a phase before I got blocked when I recommended reading the platform's site's FAQs. The group owner's comment kinda gave me a hint of what culture the group had and that I shouldn't be a member. Do you know what the owner replied?
"No one reads the FAQs. What people want are direct answers from freelancers whom experienced the question."
Wait, what? Ok. The comment tells me to tolerate stubborn folks and to spoon-feed them. Ok. It's not my group. I move on and continue with what I do. The last post I made on the group was about a weird experience after discovering my deleted gigs back on my profile. Seriously, it was a few weeks or months since I deleted those gigs, and I literally just saw it on my profile again.
Now I'll talk about my I feel blessed about these groups blocking/banning me.
Mental Health Matters
Imagine being mobbed by people online because of helping them with their questions and pointing out all the mistakes they can think of because what I do violates their dignity. Imagine losing time for freelance clients, upskilling, and marketing because you have a group full of newbies. Imagine helping people and getting bashed and mobbed in return because of an untargeted, general question that is way off the answer they were looking for. Funny, right? Unbelievable? Nope. This happens in all Filipino freelance/work from home groups I'm in. If I get paid for answering their questions, I'd probably earn $1000/month or more.
This is the reason why I don't like people who sell online courses
I'm not against online courses. I'm against the "coaches" who sell online courses because they don't give free content. Yes, there are reviews, but a student who's new to the online world won't know that some, if not all content are just curated content from google.
The future is bright
Now that you've read my frustrations above let me tell you what I'm doing to solve those problems mentioned.
I'm developing a community forum with resources for new and aspiring freelancers or work from home folks. I try to live code while I build the platform. This platform will be named Indiependent. As of now, I send bi-weekly newsletters with curated content and plan to continue sending after the community forum has been launched. You can sign up for the newsletter here.
Watch our most recent live video here.