• Last Updated:
  • Mar 8th, 2017 1:32 pm
Deal Addict
Dec 5, 2006
3768 posts
301 upvotes
Markham
aasoror wrote:
Jan 28th, 2017 1:05 am
I didn't know it was discussed here, got few PM's about it, and here is the reply:

Background:
- Most overseas sellers have openly advertised "shilling programs": commonly associate links and/or free products for reviews + a commission from future sales originating from the review tracked with a discount coupon code.

- Before the site revamp most shills used affiliated links, they would disable RFD relinking, post their own links and keep doing so till their account gets banned, rinse and repeat.

- After the revamp, disabling RFD relinking was no longer an option, so shills switched to the "review program" which was more costly to maintain for the sellers (since they get to send in free products first then wait for the sales), it became of major importance that shill is reputable and has some credibility in the community where the review is being posted.

- One can easily tell looking at posting history for some RFD'ers that few have jumped on board of the overseas sellers shilling wagon.

- In an attempt to circumvent that shilling model (instead of getting elaborate with the moderation hammer), the posting rules got updated with a "no unsourced coupon" rule, so private discount coupons that sellers generate for shills to post with were no longer allowed, guess what, in an attempt to work around the rule one member went as far as creating his/her very own blog to source his/her affiliate coupons from !!

- This took another iteration of rule changing to put the "no 3rd party coupons" and coupons now needs to come directly from the "public" seller pages.

The GB ban:
- GB has both versions of the affiliation programs: "Associate Program" and "Pro Program"

- GB has repeatedly approached long standing members with "special promos/discounts to share with the rest of the community" over PMs, even mods received some of these shilling invitations.

- GB has stepped in PM'ing RFD mods asking us to "protect" one of their prominent shills when other members started openly questioning his/her affiliation ("(s)he just likes our deals so much that (s)he wants to help the community by sharing, there will be many more members like him/her in the future" they said) !!

- We recently uncovered multiple "fake" accounts promoting GB sales, posting over the same VPN connection (these are neither posting affiliate links nor linked discount codes, these accounts are posting direct links to GB pages).

There is no need to stress how important it is for the community that every measure is taken to keep the experiences posted here genuine, we found that GB practices (despite the repeated warnings) continues to adversely affect the community, thus the current hold on all GB related deals.

Hope that clears it up for you.
You should just ban them before even make so many rule changes. Don't make rule like tax code.
Moderator
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Dec 27, 2007
12333 posts
4340 upvotes
Kitchener
smartie wrote:
Jan 28th, 2017 6:01 pm
You should just ban them before even make so many rule changes. Don't make rule like tax code.
All it takes is few minutes to create a new account, rinse and repeat. Banning is really ineffective to counter spamming. Furthermore, its much harder to "ban first think later" when the shill is an established member (with hundreds of posts all over the forums). IMO its much better to go for the root of the issue (even if it takes more effort and time) than chase the shills around.
Deal Addict
Dec 5, 2006
3768 posts
301 upvotes
Markham
aasoror wrote:
Jan 28th, 2017 6:15 pm
All it takes is few minutes to create a new account, rinse and repeat. Banning is really ineffective to counter spamming. Furthermore, its much harder to "ban first think later" when the shill is an established member (with hundreds of posts all over the forums). IMO its much better to go for the root of the issue (even if it takes more effort and time) than chase the shills around.
But did you ban those so called established RFDers? If they are established, I assume they should know rules better?
Moderator
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Dec 27, 2007
12333 posts
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Kitchener
smartie wrote:
Jan 28th, 2017 6:26 pm
But did you ban those so called established RFDers? If they are established, I assume they should know rules better?
Well, moderation rules doesn't call for banning "established" RFD'ers whenever they post affiliated links/coupons (and I tend to agree), instead infractions were served in accordance to the system (repeated offences resulting in more infractions ultimately ending with a ban), banning a shill is an easy way out of him/her, for shilling an account tagged with infraction/penalty box is just as bad as a banned account because it takes away the credibility they bank on.

Those keeping multiple accounts were banned though.
Administrator
User avatar
Jun 17, 2013
7659 posts
12256 upvotes
Scarborough
smartie wrote:
Jan 28th, 2017 6:26 pm
But did you ban those so called established RFDers? If they are established, I assume they should know rules better?
Established members are given warnings and/or infractions before they are banned. New accounts created solely to spam/shill are usually immediately banned.
RFD Staff [Forum Rules] [Facebook] [Twitter].
Deal Addict
Dec 5, 2006
3768 posts
301 upvotes
Markham
TomRFD wrote:
Jan 28th, 2017 6:57 pm
Established members are given warnings and/or infractions before they are banned. New accounts created solely to spam/shill are usually immediately banned.
Thanks

Is there any way we can see those warnings so we can be more cautious when we see their posts?
Moderator
User avatar
Dec 27, 2007
12333 posts
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Kitchener
smartie wrote:
Jan 28th, 2017 7:16 pm
Thanks

Is there any way we can see those warnings so we can be more cautious when we see their posts?
Infractions/Penalty boxes are listed right below a member screen name. With or without a tag, you can easily tell by checking the posting/thread creation history for any given member.
Administrator
User avatar
Jun 17, 2013
7659 posts
12256 upvotes
Scarborough
smartie wrote:
Jan 28th, 2017 7:16 pm

Is there any way we can see those warnings so we can be more cautious when we see their posts?
Those are only visible to RFD staff and the person who received them. Deals from shills are not scams (we delete scam threads and ban the posters immediately) so from a regular user perspective, you wouldn't need to worry about purchasing them.
RFD Staff [Forum Rules] [Facebook] [Twitter].
Moderator
User avatar
Dec 27, 2007
12333 posts
4340 upvotes
Kitchener
ji2o0k wrote:
Jan 29th, 2017 12:46 pm
so is ******** back in RFD's good books? From the looks of it, GB threads are now back open and posting is allowed (just looking at the GB VIOFO A119 dash cam thread as an example)
Nope, deals halt is still in effect, where is this thread ?!
Newbie
Oct 17, 2015
28 posts
21 upvotes
Dundas, ON
tbonegreen wrote:
Jan 26th, 2017 12:01 am
I posted a ******** deal a few days back for a crazy deal on a DJI Phantom 3 - the thread was locked as a result of the current ban on ********.

I somewhat understand the threads not being allowed (especially if rules were repeatedly broken), but it sucks that with locked threads, we'll never see feedback from people using ******** - either positive or negative.

The reason for this post is that I just received a shipping notice only a few days after I made the purchase - complete with a fedex ground tracking number and a delivery date of Jan 31.
Appreciated the deal for sure. I couldn't help but reflect that the issues with GB and some of the doubt about the authenticity of the deal may have helped me get one before stock was gone. Fast shipping (a week with FedEx too). I did some test flights and the Lightbridge is a great step up from the wifi on my Standard.
Jr. Member
User avatar
Aug 17, 2015
157 posts
164 upvotes
Winnipeg, MB
rbrducky wrote:
Feb 5th, 2017 2:27 pm
Appreciated the deal for sure. I couldn't help but reflect that the issues with GB and some of the doubt about the authenticity of the deal may have helped me get one before stock was gone. Fast shipping (a week with FedEx too). I did some test flights and the Lightbridge is a great step up from the wifi on my Standard.
Excellent! You were able to make use of the deal too?
I haven't had a chance to pick mine up yet - its still waiting at a parcel shop just over the border. Everything showed up in good condition?
Sr. Member
User avatar
Aug 10, 2006
512 posts
80 upvotes
althetrainer wrote:
Feb 1st, 2017 11:48 pm
Finally! Way too many GB shills these days.
funny thing is i spent 5-10 posting a GB deal that i found on a RFD banner advertising and it got taken off without hearing the ban until after it got removed with the reason from the mod. my thing is why does GB still have advertising on RFD if they are being banned in forums? waste of my time.
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