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Locked: Commentary and Questions Regarding Inconsistent Application of Forum Rules

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  • Jun 17th, 2012 5:55 pm
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[OP]
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Commentary and Questions Regarding Inconsistent Application of Forum Rules

This message is directed to oranr and the RFD Administration. I made this post to obtain clarification on forum rules that I believe have been applied in an inconsistent and nonsensical manner. I also made it because I think we need an intelligent commentary instead of apparently fake non-decisions, and because silence means consent. This post is cross-posted on my blog.

I have chosen to post rather than send a Private Message because the locking or deletion of this kind of thread would answer some questions and be, in itself, very telling.

Background:

Up until two days ago, my forum signature contained two (2) links:
  • A link to my blog
  • A link to third party real-time chat site, which has an affiliated outside forum created by an RFD member – I'm sure you know it well
Two days ago, I received the following message:
(...) Please be advised the following action has occurred to your signature. As the title reads, I have removed the external link to the chat room. As you there are advertisements in the chat room, it is no longer allowed to be linked too. It is self promotion/advertising and this is against policy. It can not be put back into your signature. If you do put the external link back into your signature, you will lose all signature privileges. (...)
The issue:[/FONT] Oranr, your justification is complete nonsense. Period. The justification for deleting a link because "there are advertisements in the chat room" is highly illogical. This is true because:
  • RFD's Forums contain countless of posts with links to outside sites with banner ads. These sites promote themselves or other products and services for financial gain. If you did not permit linking to sites with advertisements, you would have deleted all of these posts. (Examples: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20 )
  • Nobody on RFD makes money from the chat room I had linked.
  • Nobody on RFD makes money from the chat room's affiliated forum - banner ad revenues were disabled months ago (verified with forum owner).
  • If RFD was bothered by external banners, you would have deleted the link to my blog many years ago, yet you actively chose to not do so when you edited my sig, implicitly showing that some advertisements in linked sites are OK, and that you don't see a link to my blog an RFD rule violation. (Note: I do not and have never made financial gain from my blog.)
Perhaps you could clarify RFD's position on linking to sites containing banners if you could please answer the following questions:

1. Does linking to a site not affiliated with anyone on RFD, which has revenue-generating banner ads, qualify as self-promotion / advertising? (i.e. Reddit, Google, ArsTechnica, Facebook, Engadget, HardForum, Youtube, Globe & Mail)

2. Does linking to a site affiliated with someone from RFD, which is non-commercial and without banner ads, qualify as self-promotion / advertising? (i.e. Flickr, Instagram, personal Twitter, personal hobby website)

3. If the answers to both of the previous are YES, then what is wrong with an RFD user's non-commercial site, where the service provider adds banners and keeps the revenue for themselves? Am I missing something here? Doesn't my blog, which you, oranr, have ACTIVELY chosen to allow in my forum signature, fit this exact description?

4. Are you afraid that the outside forum affiliated with the Chat Room will pull some of RFD's audience away? I think you should be thankful for this kind of thing because it acts as a catch-all for the kind of conduct that seems to be deleted from RFD these days. RFD actually benefits from having Off-Topic conversations channelled elsewhere. Furthermore, the greater the audience, the more off-topic chatter will be directed offsite. (Note: A general decline in the quality of deals posted on RFD is now inevitable, with many users gradually drifting to other competitor deal forums. I am planning a separate blog post on this topic.)

5. Do you think that RFD members are making affiliate revenues or other benefits from the chatroom or affiliated forum? As mentioned earlier, neither case is true. (OK, well there is a "little" secret. In all fairness, I should let you know - we've had some awesome Unofficial RFD meetups at restaurants, bubble tea, bowling, coffee, karaoke, ramen, pho, go karts, board games, and are planning an awesome Toronto beach fun day. Please do let me know if deriving this kind of benefit from signatures or links qualifies as "self promotion." If that's the case, I guess I'll have to acquiesce to your point.)

Reminder: Nowhere in this post have I asked for the chat room link to be reinstated.

I hope you realise that this post contains advice made in hopes of helping you run RFD more smoothly.[/FONT]
Oranr, I do not think you are stupid. What is the real issue here? You aren't stupid enough to actually believe your own excuses. Are you trying to marginalize that particular chat site because some of the people who use it get their posts deleted on RFD? If that is the case, then you should say what you mean and face the real issues instead of making childish pretend-excuses. As Judge Judy said, "Don't pee on my leg and tell me it's raining." It leads to the loss of others' respect.

I should also remind you: Great leaders in community and business know that "Conflict is a dish best served fresh." If you pussy-foot around the real issues and make fake excuses, you fail to truly resolve issues. Conflict starts to grow mould and becomes really stinky, creating a putrid and conflicted air in the community. That's what's beginning to happen on RFD. It creates more drama and wastes everyone's time, turning off some users permanently from the community. This kind of action just causes you to lose respect from other senior members of the forum who aren't habitual offenders, and who actually come in making helpful threads, posting deals, etc.

This means that users who keep breaking the rules -- the REAL rules, i.e. not something your imagination cooked up, which conveniently fit the situation -- should be banned from RFD instead of you making up silly non-arguments for removing links. Oranr / RFD, please serve this community by clarifying your position; Stop making fake excuses and take care of business.
What if there were no hypothetical questions?
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[OP]
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P.S. – I chose to make this post in the morning hours so it would have the greatest chance of not being (immediately) seen by various disruptive persons, most of whom usually post only in the afternoon and evening. Hopefully a sensible discussion will ensue.

I am heading out the door to work any minute now. I don't post on RFD from work so I'll check back in here at night and see what is the response, or if this thread is even visible, or if I even have an account on this RFD anymore…
What if there were no hypothetical questions?
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My personal take is this: RFD is not a democracy. It's a for-profit website, and it has owners that dictate what happens on the forums.

If the mods don't like your signature, they can make you delete it. If they want you to leave, they will show you the door.

It really is that simple - your only real recourse is to take your business elsewhere.
Nikita wrote:
Dec 9th, 2008 12:46 pm
Why are so many people have reading comprehension problems this today?
[OP]
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Barayolayosa wrote:
Jun 15th, 2012 9:20 am
My personal take is this: RFD is not a democracy. It's a for-profit website, and it has owners that dictate what happens on the forums.

If the mods don't like your signature, they can make you delete it. If they want you to leave, they will show you the door.

It really is that simple - your only real recourse is to take your business elsewhere.
I think you're wrong, but I'll reserve my reasoning behind that for now because I want to see an official response before I get into some big discussion.
I expect that before the thread has run its course, I'll have to get into more detail about the role of forum users in RFD as a whole, and how I think RFD's administration should treat said users. (If this thread gets locked, watch my blog for additional commentary that should respond to the issue you raised.)

Actually, I am surprised there's been so little activity in here... Considering the number of views, I expect a lot of people are waiting to see how it will play out. :confused: I was worried this would either be locked or become a forum flame-fest.
What if there were no hypothetical questions?
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Agreed
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Jucius Maximus wrote:
Jun 15th, 2012 7:08 pm

Actually, I am surprised there's been so little activity in here... Considering the number of views, I expect a lot of people are waiting to see how it will play out. :confused: I was worried this would either be locked or become a forum flame-fest.
I think that maybe because there have been many threads already questioning recent decisions. A few members voice their opinion and then they get locked. I'm not saying I agree or disagree, just stating that as fact. I'm not sure what else can be said. :|
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Ojam has a blog linked lol
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[OP]
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Ojam wrote:
Jun 15th, 2012 7:57 pm
I think that maybe because there have been many threads already questioning recent decisions. A few members voice their opinion and then they get locked. I'm not saying I agree or disagree, just stating that as fact. I'm not sure what else can be said. :|
It is incumbent on me to give Oranr and the RFD Admins the benefit of the doubt. There's been a big site upgrade recently and other technical issues leading to downtime. Maybe they are busy dealing with the site-backend. I don't know.

If Oranr ultimately fails to address my well-explained and well-thought-out questions and comments, I will post some choice words about being in a position of leadership and power in a community in the interest of helping him do a better job.
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I agree with Jucius Maximus.
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yao416 wrote:
Jun 15th, 2012 8:01 pm
Ojam has a blog linked lol
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I agree with the op
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Jucius Maximus wrote:
Jun 15th, 2012 7:08 pm
I think you're wrong, but I'll reserve my reasoning behind that for now because I want to see an official response before I get into some big discussion.
I expect that before the thread has run its course, I'll have to get into more detail about the role of forum users in RFD as a whole, and how I think RFD's administration should treat said users. (If this thread gets locked, watch my blog for additional commentary that should respond to the issue you raised.)

Actually, I am surprised there's been so little activity in here... Considering the number of views, I expect a lot of people are waiting to see how it will play out. :confused: I was worried this would either be locked or become a forum flame-fest.
well, i think some people are just tired of getting threads locked.
after time, energy and care are put into words, too many thread just get locked to be forgotten.

you had your issues with your sig. i had an issue with mine a few weeks ago.
this was my sig;

“To terrify children with the image of hell, to consider women an inferior creation—is that good for the world?”

oranr called my sig 'sexist' and 'religious' and demanded it removed. religious i get, but 'sexist'???
i don't think he understands the meaning of the word sexist.
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ippon wrote:
Jun 15th, 2012 9:17 pm
well, i think some people are just tired of getting threads locked.
after time, energy and care are put into words, too many thread just get locked to be forgotten.

you had your issues with your sig. i had an issue with mine a few weeks ago.
this was my sig;

“To terrify children with the image of hell, to consider women an inferior creation—is that good for the world?”

oranr called my sig 'sexist' and 'religious' and demanded it removed. religious i get, but 'sexist'???
i don't think he understands the meaning of the word sexist.
+1. I had a sig removed for pointing out how minorities are being unfairly targeted, you would think that a sig taking a stand against racism would be alright :confused:
Agafaba: "Hitman doesnt troll, he just has very strong opinions about controversial topics"
stealth: "Classic Hitman response. ;) A God amongst trolls"
pablonutribar: "Hehehe - you are a god amongst trolls."
king_george: "Keep up the good fight you awesome freeedom fighter you"
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Barayolayosa wrote:
Jun 15th, 2012 9:20 am
My personal take is this: RFD is not a democracy. It's a for-profit website, and it has owners that dictate what happens on the forums.

If the mods don't like your signature, they can make you delete it. If they want you to leave, they will show you the door.

It really is that simple - your only real recourse is to take your business elsewhere.
I'd tend to agree.

Frankly, we're only talking about the removal of a signature here...pretty trivial stuff in the overall scheme of things IMO ..and hardly anything of consequence to warrant the 1,000+ words of incessant vitriolic hyperbole from the OP..

OK...so your signature got locked...you're ticked. Perfectly understandable...anyone who gets their signature deleted gets ticked.

That said, I'd just ' suck it up ' and move on. And if you want to ' swap punches ' with oranr, probably best to do it via PM, rather than haranguing & disparaging oranr in a public forum.
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