MODERATOR Cyril Ronan owned up to ‘neglecting his job’ after he failed to ban his target 20 members a day, but not without good reason he says.
Ronan was left feeling worthless after he was ironically banned from the site indefinitely for gross misconduct and failure to adhere to the moderation rules laid out by the Irish Internet giant.
“I know I didn’t do my job properly but I just didn’t see the point in banning people anymore.” Power said.
“When I started the job eight months ago I was told to ban at least 20 members a day. They gave me a 734 page rule book and told me I was in charge of the ‘Mustard’ and ‘Carlow south east’ forums.”
With this huge responsibility, Cyril Ronan soon felt he was on top of the world. However, the laws of nature were soon chomping at his motherboard and Ronan knew that eventually what goes up, must come down.
“At first I was quite nervous, I didn’t know what I was doing. The whole thing was so surreal. After all, they hand picked me out of thousands of online members to do this job. I couldn’t leave mustard, Carlow South East or myself down.
“In my first few weeks I just started moving peoples threads around. For example, some idiot would make a Ketchup or mayonnaise comment in the Mustard forum. I would warn them and ban them from boards.ie for a whole week.
“For the first time in my life I felt it – Power!”
In fact, Cyril surpassed his 20 member a day banning target and soon moved up the boards.ie ladder, prompting the company to declare him one of their toughest moderators to date.
“Things were just spiralling out of control. I was running some of the biggest forums on the website like the ‘After Hours’ forum and the whole ‘Regions’ forum. I was literally running the on-line version of the country” the 26-year-old said.
“Women were IMing me everyday looking for advice on everything from avatar pictures to font sizes. I was going through them like socks. I was knocking a case of Red Bull a week just to keep awake. I was peaking and I knew it.
“Unfortunately, too much of the high life just catches up with you eventually. I never wanted it to end.”
On November 17th 2010 Cyril had a nervous breakdown and was admitted to St. James hospital in Dublin.
“It was probably the toughest time of my life. Knowing that someone else was now moderating my forums.” the 2010 moderator of the year said.
“When I eventually left hospital after being gone for the whole afternoon, I realised what had happened. I looked around at my bedsit and it was littered with empty cans of energy drinks and pizza boxes. It dawned on me that I was slowly killing myself for nothing. I wasn’t even getting paid for this ****. What was I doing?
“I decided to not use the Internet for a while.”
“It must have been at least two hours later when I logged back on to boards.ie. I found a warning IM from the chief of operations. He said that I was slipping down a slippery slope and if I didn’t get back into form soon I’d be demoted to moderating the ‘Prison’ forum (The prison forum deals with already banned members who want to appeal their case and get back into the prestigious website)”
Cyril soon got back on-line and started moderating again.
“After the IM, I was like: ‘How can they treat me like this? I have devoted nearly eight months of my life to them. All for nothing!” the former No.1 said.
“I didn’t feel like I wanted to ban people anymore. So I just started letting everyone have their say. Even if they were in the wrong forum. I just let it run wild.”
Things got quite crazy on boards.ie and it wasn’t long after that Mr Ronan finally got his banning IM. It came as no surprise to the once ‘tough guy of boards’how the tables turned so quickly.
“I’m kinda relieved in a way. My life is better now” he said.
“I’m going out side more now and I have made new friends online. I haven’t looked back. However, I do have a peek at the Mustard forum now and again to see if the new guy is doing his job right. Its not easy you know. It takes a certain kind of someone to moderate.”
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