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Old 07-11-13, 04:12 PM   #26
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Re: Advertising/Self Promotion "FAQ"

I would love to see an addition saying that posting of deals is fine as long as you do not include referral links or work for the company.

Saying it is fine to do it while posting rules that say you can not do it or you will be banned is pretty confusing to me.

I still can not see how some guy who is an hourly clerk at walmart seeing a deal on an item and letting us know about it is not allowed. It seems to me having people constantly asking Mods if something is ok is pretty cumbersome.

I think I will just try to get my deals on other websites from now on and if I find a deal post it elsewhere so as to not run any risk of being banned.

I think the "new" rules are really not very good or well thought out for your community.
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Old 07-11-13, 04:47 PM   #27
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Re: Advertising/Self Promotion "FAQ"

How many situations have come up over the years where someone is posting a bargain offered by a place they work at? Since some people seem to have confusion, then do gcribbs' suggestion and explicitly spell it out in the rules that posting deals is okay if you're unaffiliated with the company, but this seems like a lot of hand-wringing over incredibly rare situations.
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Old 07-11-13, 05:07 PM   #28
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Re: Advertising/Self Promotion "FAQ"

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Originally Posted by WallyOPD View Post
How many situations have come up over the years where someone is posting a bargain offered by a place they work at?
I can think of one note-worthy instance in particular.
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Old 07-11-13, 05:17 PM   #29
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Re: Advertising/Self Promotion "FAQ"

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Originally Posted by LurkerDan View Post
I can think of one note-worthy instance in particular.
That's the only case I can think of at all, and that was technically against the rules at the time and has now been confirmed as being against the rules going forward (not how I would have ruled on that, but c'est la vie), so this isn't a new policy and was the same one that was in place under the former management that seems to be very fondly remembered. Under the new system he could at least PM a moderator and ask if it was okay. Very few other people talk about where they work, so moderators would have no way of even knowing.
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Old 07-11-13, 05:58 PM   #30
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Re: Advertising/Self Promotion "FAQ"

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Originally Posted by WallyOPD View Post
That's the only case I can think of at all, and that was technically against the rules at the time and has now been confirmed as being against the rules going forward (not how I would have ruled on that, but c'est la vie), so this isn't a new policy and was the same one that was in place under the former management that seems to be very fondly remembered. Under the new system he could at least PM a moderator and ask if it was okay. Very few other people talk about where they work, so moderators would have no way of even knowing.
There is at least one other case that I am aware of. The common denominator for both is getting into a disagreement about the silly rule with a certain admin and losing. Hmmm...
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Old 07-11-13, 06:11 PM   #31
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Re: Advertising/Self Promotion "FAQ"

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The common denominator for both is getting into a disagreement about the silly rule with a certain admin and losing. Hmmm...
And that's (to me) the real, and completely valid, complaint. Getting sidetracked on the relatively innocuous advertising rules seems silly. It's what happens when those rules are deemed to be violated.
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Old 07-11-13, 06:15 PM   #32
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Re: Advertising/Self Promotion "FAQ"

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Old 07-11-13, 06:47 PM   #33
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Re: Advertising/Self Promotion "FAQ"

I knew the whole "you can't post deals for a company you work for" rule was going to be an issue for some people. It was something we did discuss when we were writing this thing up. After a lot of discussion I personally came to the conclusion that there's really no fair way to let some people post deals for the company they work for and tell others that they can't (ie "Hai, I'm new here, does anyone have a favorite stereo system, cause I work for an awesome stereo company and boy to we have a sale!"). Now the poster who has thousands of posts here and happens to work for the company that has a great deal is a big difference than poster greatdealeo7432853 with 2 posts, both about their company, but where do you draw the line?

Quote:
Originally Posted by WallyOPD
And that's (to me) the real, and completely valid, complaint. Getting sidetracked on the relatively innocuous advertising rules seems silly. It's what happens when those rules are deemed to be violated.
That's a great point. Now the guy with 2 posts, both about his company should probably be banned. Someone who's been here for years and just made a mistake should probably be given the benefit of the doubt based on his/her posting history and overall involvement in the community.

So if everyone were allowed to post deals for the company they work for, the advertisers would just cancel their contracts and have employees sign up and post their sales in threads for free. Yes, this policy allows IB to make money, but it's basically the same law of the land that was in place when Geoff was running the site.
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Old 07-11-13, 07:59 PM   #34
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Re: Advertising/Self Promotion "FAQ"

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Originally Posted by VinVega View Post
but where do you draw the line?


That's a great point. Now the guy with 2 posts, both about his company should probably be banned. Someone who's been here for years and just made a mistake should probably be given the benefit of the doubt based on his/her posting history and overall involvement in the community.

So if everyone were allowed to post deals for the company they work for, the advertisers would just cancel their contracts and have employees sign up and post their sales in threads for free. Yes, this policy allows IB to make money, but it's basically the same law of the land that was in place when Geoff was running the site.
One place to draw the line would be that you should not be able to post links that provide you with direct benefit. Referral links would fall under this, the 2 post newb shill can be assumed to fall under this, but some member who happens to see a deal where he works and tries to let people know would not.

And your last paragraph is flat out silly chicken little slippery slope stuff. It is absurdly silly that if I work for Costco, and see that costco is having a clearance on something that I know people here would be interested in, that I can't tell members here (a prohibition only applies if it is known that I work for Costco) because the natural result of allowing that would be that Costco would cancel its advertising here.

Any policy is going to have allow for the exercise of judgment, and there ain't no way around that. But starting from a realistic place, and trying to enforce a realistic policy, as opposed to simply saying "if you work at company X, you may never post any deal from company X", makes a heck of a lot more sense. Especially since we don't really know where most people work, so this policy only prevents more well-known posters from posting deals. If some long-term member appears to be abusing it, where it starts to appear like maybe they might be receiving some direct financial benefit, you address it then.
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Old 07-11-13, 08:25 PM   #35
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Re: Advertising/Self Promotion "FAQ"

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Originally Posted by VinVega View Post
Now the poster who has thousands of posts here and happens to work for the company that has a great deal is a big difference than poster greatdealeo7432853 with 2 posts, both about their company, but where do you draw the line?
I think that line gets drawn at a couple thousand posts, and the nature of the deal posted.

Obviously the cool new member who has 5 posts and only posts about company XYZ is a shill, and no one is arguing that they shouldn't be banned. The member who has thousands of posts, has been a member for over a decade, contributes to discussions and the community, and posts one deal at the place he works at that he thinks would be of interest to our community, is not a shill, and should not be banned for that post.

Obviously if this longtime member starts posting nothing but deals for his company, or posts excessively for deals that no one seems interested in, it crosses into shill territory. I would think this would be an exceptional circumstance, and could be dealt with reasonably on a case-by-case basis.

I think especially, if the member is not receiving any direct benefit (i.e. they are not an owner of the company, or part of the marketing or sales team), that lowers the shill threshold a lot.

Quote:
Originally Posted by VinVega View Post
So if everyone were allowed to post deals for the company they work for, the advertisers would just cancel their contracts and have employees sign up and post their sales in threads for free.
That would never happen. Those marketing drones aren't interested in our community or contributing to or being part of the community. They only want to sell their product and post their links. They're not going to have thousands of posts and a long history of contribution to the site. They will come off as shills.


The line that has been drawn is too draconian for this community, imo. You guys are so afraid of the slippery slope that you've drawn the line on the backside of the hill. It's really not that steep a slope, and the balance can be maintained with just some reasonable common sense, rather than an outright ban on anything that looks like promotion.

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Old 07-11-13, 08:27 PM   #36
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Re: Advertising/Self Promotion "FAQ"

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Originally Posted by LurkerDan View Post
One place to draw the line would be that you should not be able to post links that provide you with direct benefit.

It is absurdly silly that if I work for Costco, and see that costco is having a clearance on something that I know people here would be interested in, that I can't tell members here (a prohibition only applies if it is known that I work for Costco) because the natural result of allowing that would be that Costco would cancel its advertising here.
This is dead on, the guy at Costco gets zero benefit for posting a deal like this. He is just being helpful. So to get around the rule, he needs to essentially pretend he does not work there and say "I was in Costco today and saw XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX" versus I work at "Costco and XXXXXXXXXX is on sale".

It is an odd rule. Drawing the line at personal gain makes much more sense.
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Old 07-11-13, 08:31 PM   #37
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Re: Advertising/Self Promotion "FAQ"

Ok.

We can argue all we want about the working for a company thing. However, My concern is this one part"anything which actively promotes a site or company"

So if I link to Best buy am I promoting the website?

I am technically since I am linking to their company site and they would benefit from the purchases.

So no one who is not preapproved can link any website of company since they could be banned as promoting a website or company.

I know you are all saying do not worry. Post away and we will not do anything to you.

However, that line basically says you can ban anyone who does this at any time.

Maybe I am being picky. But I just do not feel comfortable since how would I know someone might decide if I post too many amazon links that I am promoting that website/company.

Are their website we can post links to that are Never going to be a problem?
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Old 07-11-13, 09:54 PM   #38
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Re: Advertising/Self Promotion "FAQ"

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Originally Posted by gcribbs View Post
We can argue all we want about the working for a company thing. However, My concern is this one part"anything which actively promotes a site or company"

[...]

I know you are all saying do not worry. Post away and we will not do anything to you.

However, that line basically says you can ban anyone who does this at any time.

Maybe I am being picky. But I just do not feel comfortable since how would I know someone might decide if I post too many amazon links that I am promoting that website/company.
That rule has been there with that exact wording for years and years, and I'm not aware of it ever being used against anyone in the way you describe. Is it possible? I suppose, but it's been possible all this time and it's never happened. Why would you think that would change? What makes you more uncomfortable about it today than you were two months ago? Or two years ago? If anything, with the recent focus on improved moderation, I'd say it's even less likely now.
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Old 07-11-13, 10:04 PM   #39
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Re: Advertising/Self Promotion "FAQ"

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Originally Posted by LurkerDan View Post
One place to draw the line would be that you should not be able to post links that provide you with direct benefit. Referral links would fall under this, the 2 post newb shill can be assumed to fall under this, but some member who happens to see a deal where he works and tries to let people know would not.
This seems to make the most sense to me. I'd hope moderators could make judgement calls and realize something simple like a Costco employee posting a deal at Costco isn't harmful.
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Old 07-11-13, 10:45 PM   #40
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Re: Advertising/Self Promotion "FAQ"

Isn't that the situation that started this entire fiasco?
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Old 07-11-13, 11:07 PM   #41
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Re: Advertising/Self Promotion "FAQ"

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Isn't that the situation that started this entire fiasco?
More like the straw that finally broke the camel's back.
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Old 07-11-13, 11:19 PM   #42
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Re: Advertising/Self Promotion "FAQ"

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Isn't that the situation that started this entire fiasco?
Right, which makes it a little silly that the rules "clarification" here doesn't do much at all. And avoids admitting any sort of fault or overly harsh reaction.
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Old 07-12-13, 11:14 AM   #43
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Re: Advertising/Self Promotion "FAQ"

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Originally Posted by WallyOPD View Post
That rule has been there with that exact wording for years and years, and I'm not aware of it ever being used against anyone in the way you describe. Is it possible? I suppose, but it's been possible all this time and it's never happened. Why would you think that would change? What makes you more uncomfortable about it today than you were two months ago? Or two years ago? If anything, with the recent focus on improved moderation, I'd say it's even less likely now.

I agree and up until recently I never thought about it at all since things seemed liked they were going along fine.

Then when a random person gets banned and I realize the rules can be used without any commonsense it made me think maybe the rules need to be more detailed or they can be used to ban anyone someone dislikes or gets angry with.

Instead we have the same rules that we are told to not worry about them since you can talk to a mod before posting a deal/link.

I worry that it opens up even more issues since by asking for rules clarifications from a Mod you could get in trouble for harassing them.

I just would like more clarification in the rules. I realize as a company they want as few as possible since more restrictions on what they can do limits them.

I just do not see how this FAQ does anything but say ask a mod or you could get banned helps anything with the way the rules are currently written.
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Old 07-12-13, 11:26 AM   #44
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Re: Advertising/Self Promotion "FAQ"

If you are well-known on the forum as an employee of a certain company, let's call it "Retailer Z", and you post a deal for that company you aren't going to get banned (excepting new members who start spamming immediately). However, you can probably expect that thread to be locked or deleted.

That said, if you contact a mod in good faith and ask for permission, then it's possible you can get an exemption depending on the circumstances.

If you're worried about getting banned for "harassing a mod" just for asking questions, then be sure to PM me. I won't consider it harassment. I'm very lonely, so I need all the PMs I can get!
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Old 07-12-13, 12:00 PM   #45
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Re: Advertising/Self Promotion "FAQ"

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If you are well-known on the forum as an employee of a certain company, let's call it "Retailer Z", and you post a deal for that company you aren't going to get banned (excepting new members who start spamming immediately). However, you can probably expect that thread to be locked or deleted.
And that's just silly. If there are no referral links involved, and no reason to believe that the member/employee stands to personally benefit from posting the deal (and the deal itself is something that would be perfectly acceptable and useful if posted by someone else), even locking or deleting the thread is going way overboard in an attempt to enforce strict rules and avoid some non-existent slippery slope.
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Old 07-12-13, 12:43 PM   #46
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Re: Advertising/Self Promotion "FAQ"

Come on Dan, think of the children.....
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Old 07-12-13, 02:07 PM   #47
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Re: Advertising/Self Promotion "FAQ"

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Old 07-12-13, 02:19 PM   #48
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Re: Advertising/Self Promotion "FAQ"

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And that's just silly. If there are no referral links involved, and no reason to believe that the member/employee stands to personally benefit from posting the deal (and the deal itself is something that would be perfectly acceptable and useful if posted by someone else), even locking or deleting the thread is going way overboard in an attempt to enforce strict rules and avoid some non-existent slippery slope.
Personally speaking, I think this policy of the former regime, (I believe it is the same), could use some tweaking, and we shouldn't go overboard. However, I think it also fair to not go overboard in depicting how ruinous the policy actually is, in how often it would even come into play, as WallyOPD already pointed out.
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Old 07-12-13, 03:04 PM   #49
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Re: Advertising/Self Promotion "FAQ"

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Originally Posted by Groucho View Post
If you are well-known on the forum as an employee of a certain company, let's call it "Retailer Z", and you post a deal for that company you aren't going to get banned (excepting new members who start spamming immediately). However, you can probably expect that thread to be locked or deleted.

That said, if you contact a mod in good faith and ask for permission, then it's possible you can get an exemption depending on the circumstances.

If you're worried about getting banned for "harassing a mod" just for asking questions, then be sure to PM me. I won't consider it harassment. I'm very lonely, so I need all the PMs I can get!
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Personally speaking, I think this policy of the former regime, (I believe it is the same), could use some tweaking, and we shouldn't go overboard. However, I think it also fair to not go overboard in depicting how ruinous the policy actually is, in how often it would even come into play, as WallyOPD already pointed out.
So which is it now?
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Old 07-12-13, 03:06 PM   #50
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Re: Advertising/Self Promotion "FAQ"

Those two statements aren't contradictory. I'm stating would likely happen in this scenario, and Pharoh is stating that the scenario is not very common.
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