About Banned Members

Mike

Hello All,

We recently had to ban some members that were blantantly violating the forum rules. Specifically, they were poaching members here for their own forum. We allow links to other forums and web sites that help in the topic being discussed. We have links to all sorts of other aquarium forums in threads all over Fishlore. However, we will not tolerate someone poaching us to build their own forum.

Here is a link to the rules: FishLore Forum Rules

General Banning Guidelines - we don’t ban members here without serious consideration. In fact, the last thing the mods want to do is have to ban someone. The more, the merrier. Right? Several warnings are usually given before a ban ever happens. Sometimes the offense is so blatant or so bad though that we have to ban without issuing a warning. It is done to protect the integrity of the forum. In a perfect world everyone would read the rules upon registration but sadly, some don’t or they simply don’t care.

Mods don’t discuss bans with the general membership because it is an exercise in futility. This is also why threads are deleted regarding questions about bannings. If someone has been banned it means that they didn’t follow the rules and 99.9999% of the time they were given several warnings for rules infractions beforehand so they can correct any posting behavior that is not in line with the rules.

We have a very open and giving member base that takes time out of their days to help each other and this awesome hobby we share. It’s easy and straight forward - If you follow the rules you won’t get banned. And if someone is saying they got banned for “no reason”... well, they are not being honest with you.
 

junebug

This is disheartening. I find the whole situation disturbing on both sides.

It's unfortunate that we have a member who was penalized for trying to help some people contact a former member. It's worse that we have a mod with a long history of abuse of power, rudeness, and enacting personal grudges against members (which I know from personal experience and being a long-time member here) whom I believe had a hand in the situation, and that person is still a mod.
 

Lucy

This is disheartening. I find the whole situation disturbing on both sides.

It's unfortunate that we have a member who was penalized for trying to help some people contact a former member. It's worse that we have a mod with a long history of abuse of power, rudeness, and enacting personal grudges against members (which I know from personal experience and being a long-time member here) whom I believe had a hand in the situation, and that person is still a mod.

Thanks for the laugh.
I don't know why people who break rules feel it's personal. It's like Jr.High. I got a bad grade because the teacher hates me!
Wrong.
 

tyguy7760

I will say that I have always been treated fairly by the mods. THey've always answered me questions and queries openly and I do appreciate that. I honestly feel there are two sides to each story here and while it is unfortunate that it seems we've lost more knowledgeable members, I have to look at it through the lens of my own experiences here and in my own experience the mods have always been fair.

I will say that I've found it troubling lately to see so many advice givers come on this forum that are not giving the best advice to more novice fish keepers. I myself am no expert and I don't even play one on TV, but even with my limited knowledge and experience in fish keeping I can see that the amount of faulty information has been growing. It troubles me then to see members get banned (in the past) that in some cases probably had more knowledge than I'll ever have. With these recent members, it is a shame because I feel some of them were at least knowledgeable and gave out good advice. It is in the long run a detriment to the quality of the product that is provided here.

That being said, rules are rules. I feel that some of the fears that were apparent yesterday about being banned without warning are, for the most part, unfounded. It seems that if you are one of the %0.0001 (as mike has said) that gets banned without a warning, you probably should have been well aware of what you were doing.
 

Galathiel

I just wish that there was a step before full and complete banning. I know some forums have week long bans that they do for infractions. That way the person, especially if it's a no-warning (because of the reason stated above) ban, they can rectify the issue and rejoin the forum with their much-needed experience and advice.
 

Fanatic

I have gotten notifications saying don't use pictures that aren't yours, and those just slipped without me thinking.
Personally, I haven't broken any major rules, and I want to abide by them all.

I would like to ask why someone was banned. My brother, username Shardicle, was banned after posting on a thread by Bruxes and Bubbles.
I was not there to see it, so I can't figure out why. Is there an age requirement?
 

Ohio Mark

I try to follow the rules, but I know I've messed up, too. I really would want to be told if I was violating rules. I re-read the rules. Thanks for the reminder link, Mike.
 

Lucy

I would like to ask why someone was banned. My brother, username Shardicle, was banned after posting on a thread by Bruxes and Bubbles.
I was not there to see it, so I can't figure out why. Is there an age requirement?

This is best taken up with Mike not in open forum.
We don't want a repeat of speculation.

There is an age requirement.
Complying with COPPA: Frequently Asked Questions
 

Mike

This is disheartening. I find the whole situation disturbing on both sides.

It's unfortunate that we have a member who was penalized for trying to help some people contact a former member. It's worse that we have a mod with a long history of abuse of power, rudeness, and enacting personal grudges against members (which I know from personal experience and being a long-time member here) whom I believe had a hand in the situation, and that person is still a mod.

I'm sorry we don't see it the same way.

I will say that I've found it troubling lately to see so many advice givers come on this forum that are not giving the best advice to more novice fish keepers. I myself am no expert and I don't even play one on TV, but even with my limited knowledge and experience in fish keeping I can see that the amount of faulty information has been growing. It troubles me then to see members get banned (in the past) that in some cases probably had more knowledge than I'll ever have. With these recent members, it is a shame because I feel some of them were at least knowledgeable and gave out good advice. It is in the long run a detriment to the quality of the product that is provided here.

That's the beauty of a forum. You can chime in with your thoughts/opinion/advice and the reader can form their own opinions regarding the advice given.

I just wish that there was a step before full and complete banning. I know some forums have week long bans that they do for infractions. That way the person, especially if it's a no-warning (because of the reason stated above) ban, they can rectify the issue and rejoin the forum with their much-needed experience and advice.

If someone is banned without a warning then the offense is really bad and that person will do it again or something worse. That's just been my experience from running forums for the last 12 years.

I try to follow the rules, but I know I've messed up, too. I really would want to be told if I was violating rules. I re-read the rules. Thanks for the reminder link, Mike.

Sometimes there are gray areas regarding the rules and then a warning is sent in order to let you know when that happens. Like I said, most are not banned willy nilly. We want people to post here and the last thing we want to do is ban someone.
 

Mike

I would like to ask why someone was banned. My brother, username Shardicle, was banned after posting on a thread by Bruxes and Bubbles.
I was not there to see it, so I can't figure out why. Is there an age requirement?

If it wasn't an age related ban (coppa laws require an age of 13 to join a forum), see the general banning guidelines in post 1 above.
 

NavigatorBlack

I would have expected most of the people who were angered at a friend being turfed out to have stayed on both forums. It's usually the compromise that works out. I guess it didn't here, and has turned into some sort of war between mods or a mod and members. That sure escalated fast.
Such is life in a small tank.
A lot of experienced people have left, and we can expect the quality of questions, advice and discussion to tumble.
I'm going to take the rest of the year off.
 

jdhef

Banning a member isn't something that we really want to have to do, and it pains us mods also when someone who was a knowledgeable, helpful member needs to be banned.

But being knowledgeable and helpful does not make you immune to following the rules. Some of FishLore's rules are for legal reason (i.e. posting copyrighted material (DCMA Violation), or having a minimum age requirement (COPPA violation) and other rules are to keep FishLore a respectful, friendly place where people feel comfortable asking question without fear of being ridiculed or treated rudely.

But as Mike mentioned, it is extremely rare that a member is banned without prior warning. One would have to do something pretty egregious to be banned without a prior warning. To that point, I'm reasonably sure some who are reading this have received warnings in the past, but have not been banned. So that should indicate that we don't just ban a member on a whim.
 

oOBlueOo

I actually think this place is moderated quite well. It hasn't become like the majority of the internet where people start insulting or name calling just because someone doesn't agree with them.

No complaints here.
 

Mike

I would have expected most of the people who were angered at a friend being turfed out to have stayed on both forums. It's usually the compromise that works out. I guess it didn't here, and has turned into some sort of war between mods or a mod and members. That sure escalated fast.
Such is life in a small tank.
A lot of experienced people have left, and we can expect the quality of questions, advice and discussion to tumble.
I'm going to take the rest of the year off.

I'm a member on several other forums myself. There is no war between forums or mods, at least from our side. We have our hands full keeping up with this forum, much less worry about what another forum is saying or doing. It's unfortunate to lose experienced members because a buddy was banned, sure. But we need rules and if there were none, it would be chaos here.
 

Galathiel

I'm a rule follower, so that doesn't bother me. When I first joined (and I am still new), I posted a link to a picture I liked showing a 'scape for a goldfish aquarium. However, it embedded the picture of it instead and it was removed and I was told why. I had no issue with that, of course. I don't even know how I did it to begin with!

I will say that one mod cannot speak for the motivations of all. Mods are human, just like everyone else, and there can be personality conflicts that might come into play.
 

dwarfpufferlover

anything is better than listening to the people on DIY fish keepers on Facebook, merry christmas
 

Fanatic

If it wasn't an age related ban (coppa laws require an age of 13 to join a forum), see the general banning guidelines in post 1 above.

Totally understand now, thanks for making it clear.
 

JesseMoreira06

Just wanted to point out that members were never telling other Fishlore members to leave and stop using Fishlore for good but to join a new specific forum were all the banned members have joined. Many missed their online friends and had no way of communicating to them , that's all.
 

BobNJerry

I don't know who got banned and what not- kinda new here to some degree. so i'm not invested in any of this but I do have a question that maybe I can get some clarification on.

My questions is this: Why is it a problem to start your own forum and tell people that you are- yet it's ok to post info from other forums and resources? couldn't someone just as easily sign up on that other forum? Why are you so afraid to lose members?

I don't mean this sarcastically but i've seen this exact situation happen at other forums, key people were banned. which in turn caused mods to have to address the issues (like this post here) and because of that many people left the site and went to other sites where the mods weren't being so strict.. and the site pretty much fell apart. Whereas if they had just let those few people do their own thing without making an issue of it things probably would have remained status quo.

In any case, it's not like you're a hair dresser and they stole your clients which in turn affects your profits.

please help me understand and it might also help others understand why this is such a ban worthy infraction?
 

Mike

Many missed their online friends and had no way of communicating to them , that's all.

I totally get that. People are free to do as they please. We just don't allow member poaching using our resources to join a competing forum. That's all, really. There are all sorts of other forums to post where anything goes and where there are no rules.

I don't know who got banned and what not- kinda new here to some degree. so i'm not invested in any of this but I do have a question that maybe I can get some clarification on.

My questions is this: Why is it a problem to start your own forum and tell people that you are- yet it's ok to post info from other forums and resources? couldn't someone just as easily sign up on that other forum? Why are you so afraid to lose members?

I don't mean this sarcastically but i've seen this exact situation happen at other forums, key people were banned. which in turn caused mods to have to address the issues (like this post here) and because of that many people left the site and went to other sites where the mods weren't being so strict.. and the site pretty much fell apart. Whereas if they had just let those few people do their own thing without making an issue of it things probably would have remained status quo.

In any case, it's not like you're a hair dresser and they stole your clients which in turn affects your profits.

please help me understand and it might also help others understand why this is such a ban worthy infraction?

Hypothetical - Would McDonald's be ok with Burger King employees standing outside McDonald stores with signs saying "come over to BK, the burgers are better at our place"? Nah, they'd be asked to leave.

If enforcing the simple rules that everyone agrees to when registering is being "strict", then I suppose I'm guilty as charged. If the site falls apart because we are enforcing the rules then that's the way it goes but that is how we (the mods and I) have ran this site since 2005. Actually, I think our site has grown to be what it is primarily because we actually moderate here and keep it a fun, safe and friendly place for all.
 

BobNJerry

I totally get that. People are free to do as they please. We just don't allow member poaching using our resources to join a competing forum. That's all, really. There are all sorts of other forums to post where anything goes and where there are no rules.



Hypothetical - Would McDonald's be ok with Burger King employees standing outside McDonald stores with signs saying "come over to BK, the burgers are better at our place"? Nah, they'd be asked to leave.

If enforcing the simple rules that everyone agrees to when registering is being "strict", then I suppose I'm guilty as charged. If the site falls apart because we are enforcing the rules then that's the way it goes but that is how we (the mods and I) have ran this site since 2005. Actually, I think our site has grown to be what it is primarily because we actually moderate here and keep it a fun, safe and friendly place for all.

that's not an acurate analogy- bk and mcdonalds do not care about spreading information about a hobby- they are in the business of making a profit.

so unless fishlore is the business of making a profit I really don't understand what the problem is.
 

delete999

The McDonald's metaphor doesn't really work. A forum isn't a product to fulfill a need. It's a social media platform for these people. Saying another forum is also good to join is not the same as saying to quit fishlore and go to another forum instead. They aren't mutually exclusive. I can go to more than one forum at once because multiple tabs exist. I can go on YouTube and ask people to follow my twitter there.

That being said, rules are rules. You get to join fishlore, and in exchange you follow the rules. Fishlore's members don't own the forum, no matter how knowledgable they are or they're number of posts. Most forums and social media platforms have rules, and you can get kicked for violating them.
 

Mike

that's not an acurate analogy- bk and mcdonalds do not care about spreading information about a hobby- they are in the business of making a profit.

so unless fishlore is the business of making a profit I really don't understand what the problem is.

Ok - Lol. Dang! I thought that was a perfect analogy! You are right though in that this has nothing to do with money. Agree to disagree I suppose.
 

Galathiel

I guess to me it's not always an either/or scenario. I look at many forums when searching for information; that doesn't mean that I abandon my primary site if I find another that also has good information. I am actually a member of many forums, some dog, some cat, some fish.
 

Anders247

Just being experienced with being a forum member here and elsewhere, I can definitely say that this is probably the best forum as far as rules go. Other forums seem to have problems with a lot of insults and name calling, swearing, etc. It leads to a slippery slope.

And people do seem to think that because a member is knowledgeable or has tons of posts, they should be exempt from being punished. I'll be honest, I was warned (two+ years ago) and since then I have learned.

You don't make excuses and complain about why you were punished, you learn from it not to. Be honest with yourself, look at it from the other point of view, re-read the rules, etc.
 

BluMan1914

My two cents.
The moderators on this forum do a great job, keeping everything going, and they are on top of things.
I have been warned twice. Once for letting another member know that the language they used in a post was inappropriate. A moderator sent me a message saying thanks for the help, but next time let them know of the offense, and they will take care of the matter.
The second time was when I sent a private message and I used the word H E double hockey sticks. One of the mods edited the word out. I took that as a warning and since then have tried to be very mindful of what I type.
I do wish that one member that was banned was allowed to come back. His knowledge was invaluable and I, as well as many other members learned so much from him. It's a shame that so much knowledge can be lost when certain members are banned. I've even asked about petitioning a way to have them back. But was told it may get me banned.....and I really love this forum.
 

Carbeo

so unless fishlore is the business of making a profit I really don't understand what the problem is.

Traffic on the site is good for business. It's the little ads and links embedded in the whole forum. The mods try to make sure we have the best fish forum experience because it grows the number of members, traffic and clicks. Click the links in the conversations.
Edit: imo it's one of the least intrusive ways to support a forum that I've seen. I don't have to scroll past any banners.
 

Lucy

I've even asked about petitioning a way to have then back. But was told it may get me banned.....and I really love this forum.

A moderator told you that?
 

Lucy

No....another member.

It's not correct. Asking if someone can come back is not against the rules.
 

dansamy

As a (very) longtime veteran of forums in general and of moderating them, I can assure you that in most forums I've been a part of the moderating team, very experienced, knowledgeable members were given a lot more grace and leeway than the one post wonder. There's always an administrative section where these decisions are discussed and not taken lightly.
 

david1978

So if I started a facebook page about fish and asked a couple of my friends from here to check it out I would be banned?
 

Anders247

As a (very) longtime veteran of forums in general and of moderating them, I can assure you that in most forums I've been a part of the moderating team, very experienced, knowledgeable members were given a lot more grace and leeway than the one post wonder. There's always an administrative section where these decisions are discussed and not taken lightly.
Yeah exactly. There's no way these things are done on a whim, or are a one person decision.
 

Carbeo

So if I started a facebook page about fish and asked a couple of my friends from here to check it out I would be banned?
Yea pretty sure you can out that even in ur signature. I read the rules in the op.
"- If they are links to other non-competing websites, that is allowed only if they are ok for viewing by the general public. No adult sites, gambling, etc. Include a link back to FishLore.com if you link to your website, youtube channel etc in your signature. It's only fair"
 

dansamy

Yeah exactly. There's no way these things are done on a whim, or are a one person decision.

I once had to ban a very well known pvp player in a gaming forum. I took that one to the forum owner directly. Player was well known, knowledgeable and popular. Iirc, I suspended him and allowed the site ownership to make the final decision. I also had to delete a large flamewar between the game publisher's PAID social media liaison and the PvP community. At 3am in the morning.
 

Sacksteder kid

What if two people on this forum built up a huge relationship over years and years and then one was banned. Is the one person still on the site allowed to post somewhere to tell the other guy where they can meet. I guess instead of meeting at another site he could just put his email in his sig or something and maybe the other guy could pick it up.
 

Anders247

What if two people on this forum built up a huge relationship over years and years and then one was banned. Is the one person still on the site allowed to post somewhere to tell the other guy where they can meet. I guess instead of meeting at another site he could just put his email in his sig or something and maybe the other guy could pick it up.
I'm pretty sure you can do whatever you want outside of the forum, as long as you aren't trying to get people to come to your own site. The mods on a forum can't monitor you talking to a banned member on another forum.
 

Sacksteder kid

Ok - Lol. Dang! I thought that was a perfect analogy! You are right though in that this has nothing to do with money. Agree to disagree I suppose.
You said foul lang. is against the rules but what is the word third from the beginning of your post classified as?
 

BobNJerry

Ok - Lol. You are right in that this has nothing to do with money. Agree to disagree I suppose.

on that particle subject- yes agree to disagree..
Ok - Lol. Dang! I thought that was a perfect analogy! You are right though in that this has nothing to do with money. Agree to disagree I suppose.

no it was a terrible analogy lol holes everywhere! like a leaky fish tank!


Traffic on the site is good for business. It's the little ads and links embedded in the whole forum. The mods try to make sure we have the best fish forum experience because it grows the number of members, traffic and clicks. Click the links in the conversations.
Edit: imo it's one of the least intrusive ways to support a forum that I've seen. I don't have to scroll past any banners.

exactly- less clicks... less money. ... hence the rule and the ban.
 

WTFish?

Well I think rules are everywhere and you either have to adhere to them or leave...doesn’t matter if we agree or not, the creator of any forum/website can do as they please (I do think warnings should be issued provided it’s not a blatant crime)...that being said, I still like it here but I also belong to others....I’ve still not found one that will allow me to drop the F bomb though, so I don’t...still on the lookout for that place!
 

Sacksteder kid

I'm pretty sure you can do whatever you want outside of the forum, as long as you aren't trying to get people to come to your own site. The mods on a forum can't monitor you talking to a banned member on another forum.
I'm talking about if you don't know what forum he's on? you're on the forum and he's not and the only way you can communicate to find out a better way to communicate is through the forum
 

Carbeo

what is the word third from the beginning of your post classified as?
I looked it up. That's called a euphemism. Different.
 

Anders247

I'm talking about if you don't know what forum he's on? you're on the forum and he's not and the only way you can communicate to find out a better way to communicate is through the forum
Once a member is banned you wouldn't be able to contact them through the forum anymore.

Some people become good enough friends on here that they communicate through email or some other way.
 

delete999

I'm talking about if you don't know what forum he's on? you're on the forum and he's not and the only way you can communicate to find out a better way to communicate is through the forum
Are the contact details we can put on our account private or public? If they're public, that's the answer. Otherwise I don't know.
 

Anders247

Pretty sure you can link your twitter info or yahoo messenger on here. Or maybe that was back when this was in vBulletin format lol.
 

david1978

This whole thing is as clear as mud.
 

Greg F

Relatively new here. Love the forum . Follow the rules and even though I disagree from time to time I find those with whom I disagree with to be very respectful and hope I come across the same way.
I think you all do a great job. Thank you!
 

yukondog

I did not know we were in compition with other forums, what's the prize.
 

jdhef

My two cents.

I have been warned twice. Once for letting another member know that the language they used in a post was inappropriate. A moderator sent me a message saying thanks for the help, but next time let them know of the offense, and they will take care of the matter.

I would not consider a mod asking you to report someone, rather than tell them yourself, a warning (unless you continued doing it after being asked not to.)

I did not know we were in compition with other forums, what's the prize.

We are not in competition with other forums, but we do strive to be the best, most friendly, most respectful and most informative Aquarium Forum on the web.
 

david1978

So if its a solid brand even if asked to join others forums wouldn't they keep coming here?
 

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