An update to the rules

Notices, forum rules, FAQs, and other things of a critical nature.

Moderator: Kevin

An update to the rules

Postposted on Fri Oct 12, 2012 12:36 pm

The rules that govern discussions in the TR forums and comments haven't changed in over four years, but today, we've decided to update them in order to address a growing problem known as stealth viral marketing.

We've had a pretty confident suspicion for quite a while that a subset of the people posting here have alternative motives and agendas, even if you account for the fanboy phenomenon. The "contributions" these folks make to discussions tend to worsen the signal-to-noise ratio of many threads and to distort the priorities expressed in them. If you've sometimes thought certain discussions seem like a weird echo chamber filled with more marketing concerns than traditional PC enthusiast concerns, you know what I'm talking about.

Trouble is, definitively identifying and reining in stealthy viral marketing activity isn't easy. Still, we have decided to take the small step of adding a forum rule explicitly banning it. Here is the text of the new rule:
--
13.) Although we welcome the participation of representatives from industry firms, stealth viral marketing activities are strictly prohibited here. Participants who are employed in the PC hardware industry, either directly or via an arrangement with a third party, must disclose their affiliations up front, either in a public post, a note in their signature, or both. Note that "employed" in this context extends to those who are compensated in the form of product samples, attention, and other means. If you engage in stealth viral marketing activity, you may be banned, and you also immediately forfeit your protection under the TR privacy policy. You have been warned.
--
Our goal is to make clear that TR is not a hospitable place for stealth viral marketing activity.

We are, however, very open to participation from folks in the industry. We're just asking that participants adhere to the standard most good corporate social marketing policies already require: that you actively identify yourself as affiliated with the company you represent.

Also, please note the last part of the rule, where those who engage in stealth viral marketing lose the protections of our privacy policy. (That policy has been updated to reflect this change, as well.) We don't collect much in the way of personally identifiable information—e-mail address, IP addresses, and usernames is the extent of it—but if you engage in stealth viral marketing at TR, we may choose not to afford you the same protection we do everybody else.

In other words, stealth viral marketers may want to close their accounts now, because this rule change is going into effect. Consider this post fair warning.

Let me be clear: we are not going to post the email and IP addresses of obnoxious fanboys or suspected stealth viral marketers as a matter of practice. But if we conduct an investigation and can make a link between you and a viral marketing operation, we are giving ourselves leeway to make the results of that inquiry public.

For the vast majority of you, even the hopeless fanboys, the only effect of this rule update should be better interactions. Our hope is that we can maintain the discussion quality that has been so good here at TR for years. This step is just a small one, but we think it's necessary at this point. Please bear with us as we continue working to maintain the integrity of our community.
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Re: An update to the rules

Postposted on Mon Oct 15, 2012 3:10 pm

I would suggest a minor change for clarification:

Note that "employed" in this context extends to those who are compensated in the form of product samples, attention, and other means.

Would slightly rewritten to:
Note that "employed" in this context extends to those who are compensated in the form of product samples, attention, and other means not just monetarily.

(This should be obvious from the previous sentence, but you will always have those people who want to fudge it.)
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Re: An update to the rules

Postposted on Mon Oct 15, 2012 8:45 pm

Perhaps my brain is just working a bit fuzzily tonight (it's been an especially long Monday) - but to be clear this is directed at marketing personnel only, yes? I write for OCC from time to time but make no mention of it here. I'm not swayed by free product and if there's a fault with something I make it known.
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Re: An update to the rules

Postposted on Tue Oct 16, 2012 12:29 pm

Oh look, Waco, you just did your disclosure, so there's no issue now. ;)
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Re: An update to the rules

Postposted on Tue Oct 16, 2012 2:44 pm

Damage wrote:Oh look, Waco, you just did your disclosure, so there's no issue now. ;)

I submitted a article once to Heatware.net (as opposed to heatware.com - same owner though)
He was supposed to proof it and post it, and that never happened - so much for my writing career. lol

However, I now feel "disclosed" but telling you this :)
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Re: An update to the rules

Postposted on Tue Oct 16, 2012 5:12 pm

Damage wrote:Oh look, Waco, you just did your disclosure, so there's no issue now. ;)

:lol:
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Re: An update to the rules

Postposted on Thu Oct 18, 2012 12:14 pm

If this is really all there is to the new rule change then this is a joke. Post in a forum thread that will eventually be buried?
How about requiring them to enter something into the "Occupation" slot in their profile so their marketing affiliations will be displayed below their username in every post they make?
(not directed toward Waco or Dposcorp, I don't think either of you fit into this rule change)
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Re: An update to the rules

Postposted on Fri Oct 19, 2012 8:31 pm

DPete27 wrote:(not directed toward Waco or Dposcorp, I don't think either of you fit into this rule change)

Yeah, after reading it again it doesn't really affect me in the slightest...but I just wanted to make sure. :)
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Re: An update to the rules

Postposted on Fri Apr 12, 2013 1:38 pm

I wrote for 2cpu once, but it didn't work out. I'm as biased as they come, and nothing I say can be trusted.
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Re: An update to the rules

Postposted on Fri Apr 12, 2013 3:50 pm

Why the necromancy, Forge?
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Re: An update to the rules

Postposted on Fri Apr 12, 2013 5:49 pm

You can ask him, but nothing he says can be trusted.
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Re: An update to the rules

Postposted on Fri Apr 12, 2013 7:19 pm

flip-mode wrote:Why the necromancy, Forge?


I realized I'd never declared my previous affiliation. Also, I have never spoken the truth, not even now.
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Re: An update to the rules

Postposted on Fri Apr 12, 2013 10:18 pm

Forge wrote:
flip-mode wrote:Why the necromancy, Forge?


I realized I'd never declared my previous affiliation. Also, I have never spoken the truth, not even now.


PUI? :)
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Re: An update to the rules

Postposted on Sat Apr 13, 2013 12:42 am

SecretSquirrel wrote:
Forge wrote:
flip-mode wrote:Why the necromancy, Forge?


I realized I'd never declared my previous affiliation. Also, I have never spoken the truth, not even now.


PUI? :)

I don't need chemical motivation to achieve altered states. I've just shut down the logical parts of my brain for unscheduled maintenance this weekend.
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Re: An update to the rules

Postposted on Fri Aug 01, 2014 6:40 am

So we need a "report user as spammer" button to go with the "report post as spam" :)
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Re: An update to the rules

Postposted on Fri Aug 01, 2014 7:25 am

Chrispy_ wrote:So we need a "report user as spammer" button to go with the "report post as spam" :)


That happens automagically when a mod gets the first report.
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Re: An update to the rules

Postposted on Fri Aug 01, 2014 7:41 am

Chrispy_ wrote:So we need a "report user as spammer" button to go with the "report post as spam" :)

One and the same. Luckily I had to be up early to meet my contractor so I nuked it post-haste.
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Re: An update to the rules

Postposted on Fri Aug 01, 2014 8:54 am

Is there a way the system can be set to identify a spam poster and auto block them from additional posts, say prior to mod approval.
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Re: An update to the rules

Postposted on Fri Aug 01, 2014 9:04 am

ShadowEyez wrote:Is there a way the system can be set to identify a spam poster and auto block them from additional posts, say prior to mod approval.

This is already done through the "Hammer of Banning (HoB) +4", but only Super mods and Admins have access to that. The HoB auto-nukes all the posts and automates the house-cleaning that we are also required to do. Please post further ideas on spam-fighting in the multitude of threads in the Back Porch. The topic is almost discussed to death.

URL posting has been disallowed for the first few posts as of recently. That has some effect. However, the most effective is still to use the "Report Post" button. All mods can clean spam posts and the coverage is really good. Yes there will be gaps because we have lives, but please don't think for a second that the mods are slacking and intentionally let the spammers run wild. Just report the posts and sooner or later one of the mods will get to them.
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Re: An update to the rules

Postposted on Fri Aug 01, 2014 9:17 am

Flying Fox wrote:Yes there will be gaps because we have lives, but please don't think for a second that the mods are slacking and intentionally let the spammers run wild. Just report the posts and sooner or later one of the mods will get to them.

The only systemic gap right now is about 2AM to 6AM Eastern Time. On work days, I'm usually first in and clean up that night's love help spam (hey, it's better than fake passport or unlocked cell spam).
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Re: An update to the rules

Postposted on Fri Aug 01, 2014 9:33 am

Flying Fox wrote:Please post further ideas on spam-fighting in the multitude of threads in the Back Porch. The topic is almost discussed to death.

Should one of those threads be stickied? It seems that we have renewed spam-killing dicussions every so often, so it might be a good idea to contain the dicussion in one place, complete with a "How the Hammer of Banning +4 Works" post.
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Re: An update to the rules

Postposted on Fri Aug 01, 2014 10:25 pm

Good to know this is monitored (and I know you guys have lives) - lots of spam on the 'net.

Flying Fox wrote:
ShadowEyez wrote:Is there a way the system can be set to identify a spam poster and auto block them from additional posts, say prior to mod approval.

This is already done through the "Hammer of Banning (HoB) +4", but only Super mods and Admins have access to that. The HoB auto-nukes all the posts and automates the house-cleaning that we are also required to do. Please post further ideas on spam-fighting in the multitude of threads in the Back Porch. The topic is almost discussed to death.

URL posting has been disallowed for the first few posts as of recently. That has some effect. However, the most effective is still to use the "Report Post" button. All mods can clean spam posts and the coverage is really good. Yes there will be gaps because we have lives, but please don't think for a second that the mods are slacking and intentionally let the spammers run wild. Just report the posts and sooner or later one of the mods will get to them.
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