Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Annapolis, Md
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Re: Another "Next Generation" anchor enters the market...
And I too wish to weigh in and express my sincere apologies. I had accidentally banned Greg on the erroneous assumption that he was an not a paid advertising member and who was posting commercial materials and links in violation of Forum Rules and disregarding warnings against doing so. I wish to apologize publically for my actions in banning Greg and Mantus Anchors, but also more forcefully and perhaps more significantly for my choice of words in doing so. While the responsibility for the mistake in banning Mantus can be shared, my choice of words, was a mistake all my own, and for that I am truly sorry.
So that everyone understands little more about this, one of the less visible, and perhaps more controversial (amoungst us moderators) aspects of being a SailNet moderator is addressing advertising embedded within member avatars, signatures and posts. We treat the restriction against posting commercial material very seriously and try very hard to be fair minded in this.
As an unwritten policy, we, moderators will remove any links from non-advertising member's posts and send a PM to that member advising them that they are in violation, please desist or become an advertiser. (We do summarily ban obvious spammers.)
The Moderator's standard practice when there is a second violation is that we send a more strongly worded warning with the threat of temporary banning. In this case, as Jeff_J had explained above, we had been inaccurately told that Mantus Anchors were not an advertiser, the second message went out, and seemed to be ignored. As a result, I responded by issuing a temporary ban. Mantus was an advertiser and my ban and choice of associated language was eroneous and unfair.
beyond this case, member posting of self-promoting material remains a complex issue. On one hand, being able to post commerical materials is one of the benefits of being a paid advertiser. Allowing members to freely post commerical material therefore diminishes the benefit of being a paid SailNet advertiser. SailNet is in part funded by advertising and so this privilege is important to protect.
Where this becomes awkward is that forum rules allow members to post links to other people's commercial sites. And perhaps more awkward still, is when we have a long term member who is posting a link to their own site, which has some enterprise with either some relevance to a discussion or has minimal finacial gain; such as perhaps a book they have written, or a blog with advertising.
What makes this seem uncomfortable to me personally is that on one hand, I and my fellow moderators believe that we need to both be fair, and appear to be fair in how we administer the rules.
But on the other hand, I believe that it is important for SailNet to support its members and in that regard, it is useful for members to be able to read information "straight from the horse's mouth" but also to provide a place for long term members to talk about what they are doing that might be usefuil to our community or simply discuss what they do outside of SailNet.
The other associated issue is that we sometimes get manufacturers who come here only to promote their product in less than forthright ways. We have had members join under assumed names to either recommed their product or slam their competition. But we also have had members who identified who they were and were posting inaccurate information promoting their product, or grossly inaccurate slams against their competitors. This form of activity violates a different forum rule than the prohibition on posting an ad, but becomes harder to enforce when the violator is a paid advertiser.
These are types of ongoing issues that the moderators and owners have been discussing, and we are hoping to provide creative ways of addressing these issues in the future. I do regret that Mantus Anchor was unfairly treated in the interim.
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Curmudgeon at Large- and rhinestone in the rough, sailing my Farr 11.6 on the Chesapeake Bay
Last edited by Jeff_H; 07-05-2012 at 03:13 PM.