Poaching Members Against the Rules

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Mike

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Was really hoping I wouldn't have to make a post about this, but seems I need to. We've been seeing this happen and I wanted to remind people that poaching our members to join another website/forum is against the rules (rule #3) and not to mention underhanded and tacky.

If someone pm's you about joining another forum or if they make a post about it, please let us know and we will deal with it.

If you have a site and you want friends to join, use email and please don't use our system to recruit members or otherwise funnel visitors to another website. I have no issues with any other sites, just don't want our system and members to be gamed for the benefit of others (looking for donations or selling stuff).

Thanks,
Mike
 

zombiecat03

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Mike I'm not very internet savvy, so could I ask for an example? I'm guessing this has to do with more than just telling someone you found something on a website that may help them?
 
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Mike

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zombiecat03
Links to more information on other sites or forums that help our members are totally fine.

PM's or posts trying to get our members to join another website or forum are not ok.
 

TankMateBlogs

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what about linking to your blog in your sig? No one is joining, and its relevant (its a fish blog) is that ok, or against the rules? I can remove it.
 

sirdarksol

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Best bet for links in signatures is to ask Mike. You'll likely be asked to have a link back, and if it's a competing website, or if there is any adult content (even if it's incidental, like in your list of liked blogs or that sort of thing), it may not be allowed at all.
 

ryanr

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Thanks for the reminder Mike.

For those that are uncertain; Fishlore Forum Rules can always be found via the Quick Links menu, or

Rules #5, 6 and 7 pretty much cover external links
 

sirdarksol

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Because there seems to be some confusion about this, I think we should clarify:
This is not about posting links to a useful discussion that occurred on another forum. This is not about mentioning what you've heard at another forum. These kinds of things have happened for longer than I've been here. We talk about what's been said on Monster Fish and Plant Geek and cichlid-specific forums and so on and so forth. We post links to discussions that are pertinent to the thread at hand. These things are typically fine.

This is specifically about people saying "Hey, you should come join Monster Fish" or "Plant Geek has some awesome discussions about that plant you like, they could really use your input" or other such things.

All of this being said, remember that our rules (aside from number one) are not etched in stone for a very specific reason: We are allowed to apply judgment and common sense to each situation as it arises. We don't have technicalities that can be abused, because the rules aren't technicalities. There is likely some situation or another where talking about the awesomeness of another forum would be acceptable (still best to check with Mike before posting it, though). On the flipside, we are very accustomed to people trying to disguise advertisements as taking part in the forum, and the mods (as well as many members) are good at recognizing such attempts.

In the end, it comes down to good netiquette, which is an extension of real-world etiquette. In most cases, you wouldn't stand in your friend's restaurant and tell potential customers about a similar restaurant a few blocks over. It's not that you or your friend don't want that restaurant there. You both may love the place and frequent there several times a month, but it's still bad form to redirect your friend's customers to the other restaurant.
 
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Mike

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SDS, summed up perfectly. Thanks.
 

Dlondon95

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Because there seems to be some confusion about this, I think we should clarify:
This is not about posting links to a useful discussion that occurred on another forum. This is not about mentioning what you've heard at another forum. These kinds of things have happened for longer than I've been here. We talk about what's been said on Monster Fish and Plant Geek and cichlid-specific forums and so on and so forth. We post links to discussions that are pertinent to the thread at hand. These things are typically fine.

This is specifically about people saying "Hey, you should come join Monster Fish" or "Plant Geek has some awesome discussions about that plant you like, they could really use your input" or other such things.

All of this being said, remember that our rules (aside from number one) are not etched in stone for a very specific reason: We are allowed to apply judgment and common sense to each situation as it arises. We don't have technicalities that can be abused, because the rules aren't technicalities. There is likely some situation or another where talking about the awesomeness of another forum would be acceptable (still best to check with Mike before posting it, though). On the flipside, we are very accustomed to people trying to disguise advertisements as taking part in the forum, and the mods (as well as many members) are good at recognizing such attempts.

In the end, it comes down to good netiquette, which is an extension of real-world etiquette. In most cases, you wouldn't stand in your friend's restaurant and tell potential customers about a similar restaurant a few blocks over. It's not that you or your friend don't want that restaurant there. You both may love the place and frequent there several times a month, but it's still bad form to redirect your friend's customers to the other restaurant.
I feel I must speak my mine and get a couple things off my chest.

You say the rules aren't etched in stone because you are allowed to apply judgement and common sense to each situation as it arisies. That's all fine and dandy, but there has to be a limit to this. I as well as many other members have seen a decline in the moderation of this site in past year or so. It seems that posts are always being edited or deleted just because a moderator doesn't agree with something it says. If it does break a rule, the why should it be changed? Because the moderators know nobody is going to say anything to them about it... People are too scared of being banned for speaking their mind when they see a problem arise.

Also, you use the analogy about the restaurant. If I am in a restaurant, I should have the right to talk about another restaurant if I want to. I'm not gonna get kicked out for saying to my friend "hey. I ate at this restaurant down the street. You should try it some time." Of course, that's different from coming in and yelling "you need to all come down to this restaurant now!" If the restaurant is really that good, then they shouldn't have to worry about losing their customers. Its when they DO start losing their customers that they should realize "hey, maybe we are doing something wrong here"

I feel that members should not be penalized or banned for suggesting another forum to someone. If Fishlore is confident that they are a great forum, then they shouldn't have to worry about these members leaving.

You speak if using good etiquette here on the forum, but for the most part, I see a major lack of it by the moderators.

End rant.

I hope you don't see this as an attack toward the mods or anybody, but rather something to think about.

~D
 

sirdarksol

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Most of your concerns, Dlondon, are personal opinion. Considering we get both complaints about us doing too much, and complaints about us doing too little, I think that is pretty obvious.

However, one concern you have expressed is unneeded. Nobody on this forum has been punished or banned for disagreeing with a mod, or complaining about something we've done, as long as the comment/complaint was not profanity-laced, threatening, or likewise breaking the rules on its own.
 

Dlondon95

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Most of your concerns, Dlondon, are personal opinion. Considering we get both complaints about us doing too much, and complaints about us doing too little, I think that is pretty obvious.

However, one concern you have expressed is unneeded. Nobody on this forum has been punished or banned for disagreeing with a mod, or complaining about something we've done, as long as the comment/complaint was not profanity-laced, threatening, or likewise breaking the rules on its own.
Yes they are. That's why I said I had to get some things off my chest. I am just calling it as I see it and going from what I myself and many others agree on.

Maybe they haven't been banned or punished, which I never said they were, but I have seen many times where a mod deletes a post for no legitimate reason. I've had it happen to myself, and it's usually when expressing an opinion. This forum doesn't like disagreement...
 

ryanr

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Dlondon, thanks for expressing you're concerns.

From the day of its inception, Fishlore has been a family friendly, with many young members. This mantra is what keeps the community running. Many forums run differently (heck, one reef forum I'm on is adults only, and the tone and language used is disturbing, but the info is good).

To define poaching:
I work for an electrical retailer. I am free to shop at any and all electrical retailers in my city.

What would be extremely frowned upon is me walking into a competitor, talking to each staff member and then trying to coerce/lure them to come and work for my company. That is poaching, and the business world frowns upon it greatly, especially if done on their own premises.

If however, a competitor's employee were to wander into my company, and see a job add and apply of their own free will, then that's just the way it goes, and it happens everyday.

It is the active targetting and coersion of members that is not permitted on Fishlore. Every member is free to shop where ever they want (so to speak), and they are free to join any forum they wish - in fact, if it wasn't for Fishlore, there are some forums I would never have found that have been invaluable for specific issues. But, in all of that, I have never once been targetted and specifically told to join another forum.

I hope that clarifies what poaching is.

As for your concerns about moderator decisions, if you have specific examples, please address them (via PM) with the moderator that made the decision.... We're more than happy to explain why some things are done (where appropriate)
 

Lucy

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Calling the site names would, in fact be a violation of forum rules.

I'd suggest if anyone has further issues take it up with the admin.

I have deleted posts that would do nothing but cause further drama.


Thread closed.
 
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Mike

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Thanks for voicing your concerns and opinions.

Here is some info to digest:

We have members and moderators here on FishLore that also are members and moderators on other aquarium forums as well. All sorts of other forums in fact. We link extensively to other forums and websites if it helps the particular member with good information. The particular forum we are talking about is the first in the history of FishLore (7+ plus years) where something had to be done because they were building their membership mostly with members from here. We felt very used.

Not to mention that I actually helped the admin of that site with recommendations on software to use along with tips on running it. Notice how all the softare and features are the same? Hmmmmm.. When their site launched, I made an announcement here on FishLore trying to help get visitors to the site, the person put links in their signature pointing to the site. It was kind of like the first "partnership" that FishLore has had. We also had an agreement not to ask or pm members to join the other's site. Simple as that.

We also don't ask for donations here on FishLore nor does FishLore sell anything... so that was another sore point because I felt like they were gaming our pm system to get donations and trying to sell products... essentially free advertising. I felt like they were taking advantage of the good nature of our members. Look at how the members here go out of their way to help each other. The poaching left me feeling quite betrayed. Everything here is free. Period.

I am not worried at all about what another forum does nor if it's better than FishLore. I can only focus on this site and it's what I have focused on for the last 7+ years. I, along with the moderators, try to make this a safe place for ALL aquarium hobbyists. If someone gets on another forum and likes it better than here, well, that's the way it goes. Hats off to the other forum. Well done.

Yes, we have rules, very simple rules that we do enforce to keep it that way. I'm sorry if you have an issue with the way the forum is moderated, but I will stand by the moderator team and the decisions they make because they are usually spot on. There are all sorts of things going on behind the scenes that the moderators do that the general membership never sees, and that is how it should be. Dealing with spammers, hackers, member issues, etc. If you have questions about a post being deleted, ask them via PM or email. Maybe it was a misunderstanding or a miscommunication. No need to hold hard feelings or ill will.
 

ryanr

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Unfortunately, it seems we need to bump this announcement.

Friendly reminder:
Fishlore Rule #3: Spamming or soliciting using our member's email accounts or the PM system is not allowed. Poaching or soliciting our members to join another website is not allowed.
 

Lucy

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Looks like another bump is needed.

We do not take banning lightly nor do we discuss reasons with anyone other than other moderators so keep in mind you will only hear one side of the story.
If everyone is following the simple rules Mike has lain out than there should be no worries.

As a side note, pm's are reportable. We do not scan your private messages or have the ability to do so.

Edit to add:
Our pm's are open if you'd like to discuss something. Just please know, we will not go into specifics.
 
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