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.

Monday, August 29, 2005

Free Listing Day on ebaY?

On 5 September 2005 ebaY will celebrate it’s 10 anniversary for its US site (and incidentally it is the 6th anniversary of TAGnotes). TAG predicts ebaY will conduct several promotions during the month of September with a free or 10 cent listing day, starting as early as the end of August. We think ebaY will do a promotion of some sort or another, every week of September.