Wednesday, August 31, 2005

TAGnotes Pink Quote of the Day II

Pink Quote of the Day II- Courteous and Respectful Posting is Expected of All Participants posted by on 11 Jul 05 at 17:36 PT
" Hello everyone,
We've been hearing from folks who use the boards that the expectation of "courteous and respectful posting from all participants" needs more attention. We've been troubled for some time that this essential element seems to fall by the wayside too often.

We should all be able to have a discussion without attack. Debate can be conducted without insult. Frustration can be expressed without personalization. Interpersonal issues need to be worked out privately between the people involved, not on the boards. And feuds have no place on eBay.

All of us who use the boards - members, staff, newcomers, and regulars - need to know we can come to a board - any board - and find welcome. We don't necessarily expect to always find agreement or comfort, but, as Louise used to say "there's always time for courtesy", and everyone - everyone - deserves that.

As you know, you are the first line of moderation of the forums. You use the Report Link to alert the moderation team to possible violations, so that posts can be reviewed. From time to time, trends begin in these violations, and we step up our action in accordance with your reports.

Posts that are not "courteous and respectful" will be removed when reported, and further action taken as appropriate.

This is nothing new - that expectation has been in place for many years. We had truly hoped the Community could work this part out without need for our intervention. But you've let us know the "expectation" alone is not enough for this time, and thus, we'll be backing it up with firmer enforcement. So, we'll be raising the bar and setting a higher expectation for polite behavior in reviewing the posts you report.

In addition, we'd like to remind everyone that eBay may remove any post or thread at any time, without notice. Sometimes a thread which starts out as a great discussion of differing viewpoints may fall into a battle between a few people, or may go so far off topic that the original purpose is lost. In these cases, threads which have become the focus of interpersonal disputes, or which have been taken far off topic, may be removed entirely, without warning, notice or explanation. ....Claire"

TAG finds this diatribe an intresting piece of hypocrisy. To start with, ebaY has chosen to use a fascist style snitch system to police their boards, rather than a more democratic community based consensus type model. A system of this type does little to create unity and trust between participants and instead breeds contempt, paranoia and dissention. This is an atmosphere that ebaY has put in place to control and manipulate what they call, the community. Additionally, ebaY's employees have a hands off policy on certain users who are colluders, favored members who have been taken into the ebaY fold (often through the Voices program, though some are probably just ebaY employees using aliased IDs, an ebaY practice that goes back to Jim Griffiths, ebaY's first customer service employee) and allowed liberties and impunity even when they are in direct violation of ebaY's rules, other users are not granted. ebaY uses these people to break up serious discussions about ebaY problems and divert these discussions, provoking those participating in the discussions with personal attacks, and totally derailing the conversation. They also use these colluders as snitches and provocateurs, to harass users ebaY wants to silence and ban from their boards. To prevent furor over a popular dissenting voice being silenced, ebaY uses the excuse of the expectations in Claire's PQOD above, to ban those dissenting vocal posters, even though ebaY used their colluders to create the hostile situation. Needless to say the ebaY colluder does not get banned, only the intended victim. A recent case exemplifies this, where ebaY was publicly embarrassed during the CNBC broadcast of The ebaY Effect, when a post on an ebaY chat board, showing a monkey and the motto "ebaY sucks" was shown on national television. ebaY has since permanently banned from their boards the person who made and posted the graphic, though he violated no ebaY posting rules.

Many of you reading this might say that they are ebaY's boards, they have no legal obligation under the US Constitution to allow free speech, and they can run their boards however they please. This is absolutely true, but it makes Meg Whitman and Bill Cobb a liar, every time they open their mouths and talk about community, a level playing field and the ebaY Community Values. Where censorship and snitching rule the day, there is only manipulation, deceit and ulterior motives, none of which fit the rhetoric those at ebaY spout, and which amounts to little more than lies and hypocrisy.


Anonymous said...

I am posting anonymously for the obvious reason.... don't want the ebaY gestapo focusing on me.

ebaY spokespersons, including the CEO, lie whenever they speak period. They lie to investors, they lie to the community. When they raised the store subscription fee and final value fee along with the bin fee Meg said on CNBC "the only increase was a small increase in the success fee on store items". That was a lie. There were other increases, as stated, and the increase in the FVF (success) fee was 60%. I don't think a 60% increase can be considered a "small increase". And, of course, she lied about the reason for the increase saying it wasn't about ebaY getting more fees it was about 'vibrancy'. Please!

Everything they do, bar none, is about ebaY getting more money off the backs of all the hardworking sellers. It's one thing for them to make more money along with sellers making more money but much of what they do only creates more work for sellers and less profit for sellers while increasing ebaY profits and ultimately ebaY stock price.

ebaY is run as a stock, not a business. It's all about the stock and executing stock options, not the business of sellers selling products. I found it hilarious that in that same interview on CNBC, on the very day that they announced a stock split, Meg said "I manage the business and let the stock manage itself". Stock splitting is not managing the stock? Meg apparently thinks we are all idiots.

I look forward to the day when Google announces "Google Auctions" and creates a viable competitor to ebaY. It is only when ebaY has a viable competitor that we will see change for the better. As it stands now, ebaY works hard to increase their monopoly position whereever and whenever possible. ebaY is all that is wrong with monopolies.

Anonymous said...

I was suspended for their boards for a post I made that criticized the pinks, no bad language, no one singled out...just a mild criticism. I even praised the ONE that I know that is decent!

Luckily, the very best, brightest members are setting up boards OFF eBay where people can talk freely.

I didn't want to leave the community, but was forced to by Claire. Moving to the suburbs has been very nice indeed! I only go back to the city now to work and shop. It is not a nice place to live, and I'd love to find a job elsewhere. The pay is not good enough lately on eBay.

I too hope that Google will one day start auctions.

Anonymous said...

I'm also posting anonymously, but if you want to see real-life example of the hypocritical way ebay polices its discussion boards, look no further than the Clothing, Shoes & Accessories Board.

That board has gone from a helpful, positive space to one full of inane questions and spiteful trolls in a matter of a few weeks' time. Most of the helpful regulars who gladly gave of their time and expertise are gone, leaving only a small handful of helpful posters, and a large majority who post bad advice, erroneous information, and engage in bizarre board catfights.

I find it particularly disturbing that ebay felt the need to post messages on the Discussion Boards about "courteous posting" and "community values" when allowing a CS&A member to shill bid her own auctions, bid (and then retract her bid) on board members' auctions to get their contact information (which is directly in violation of ebay's so-called community values/rules) and post personal attacks against some of the helpful members on the board -- only to get away with all of this while decent people were suspended and banned left and right.

Community Values?

Well, let's just say -- when in the past ten years have you heard anyone use the word "Values"...who actually HAD any values of their own.

Get a grip, ebay.

Anonymous said...

Another Anonymous here...even though eBay's Trust and Safety department utilized my vast knowledge of a particular category (hell, they called me on the PHONE regularly to ask about fakes), I was permanently BANNED from eBay's boards because of another user harassing me. Explain that.

"Kelley", in particular, is a completely vindictive and horrible person. Her smartass remarks to me in email have sent my blood pressure soaring more times than I care to remember.

The funny thing is, I was always very "rah rah eBay!" until this. Now I'm just pissed, bitter, and looking for a way to screw eBay every chance I get.

Some community development. Fools.

Anonymous said...

I was suspended for a post I didn't make - a post in fact made by one of their protected species. I have no idea what makes the psychotic creature protected, but she is.

It took them more than a month to acknowledge that I didn't actually make the post I was suspended for, and I was grudgingly reinstated.

Perhaps they could have a clue purchased for them?

Anonymous said...

This blog entry is very accurate (as are the comments posted). Last Spring, the ebay mods ("pinks") went on a spree and have been suspending posters for posts that are in no way a violation of the ebay rules. No action has been taken against me-I make this point as relatively neutral observer. What were helpful boards now have a distincly "Stepford" atmosphere.

Anonymous said...
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