1. GingerCoffee
    Offline

    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2013
    Messages:
    17,602
    Likes Received:
    5,877
    Location:
    Ralph's side of the island.

    Clarifying sharing something you found you want to share and "advertising".

    Discussion in 'Support & Feedback' started by GingerCoffee, Apr 26, 2013.

    I posted a request for short stories I came across I thought other people might like to hear about. Then I was told by an ex-mod it was prohibited advertising.

    The rule: "No advertisements may be posted, including the use of signature links for advertising, and including "free" products. Recruitment for external projects, other sites, publishing opportunities, or writing services are also considered prohibited advertising."

    OK, I get it people might be trying to sneak in ads for their publishing services and whatnot, and I can see how a general rule is easier. But why prevent people from simply sharing something they found? What is a "publishing opportunity" vs look what I found I wanted to share?

    Is it dependent upon some member's reporting you? There are so many links in the publishing thread I fail to see how the one I shared differed.

    Who decides this claim of Cogito's: "Those are standard resources. What you posted is an advertisement."?

    Tell me how this isn't an advertisement? Duotrope
    Or this? Literary Magazines
     
  2. Cogito
    Offline

    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 19, 2007
    Messages:
    35,935
    Likes Received:
    2,043
    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    Duotrope is a standard resource. In the past, no subscription was necessary. They added the subscription when they could no longer afford to keep it running gratis. But Duotrope remains the best, most widely acknowledged, reference site for those looking to publish short fiction.

    The point is, you clearly violated the site rules, and you are grasping at straws to justify ignoring the rule.

    Many contests and publishing opportunities are outright scams. Instead of having to argue incessantly with those promoting contests and publishing opportunities, the decision was made to not permit them at all. And guess which ones make the most noise when told they can't post here?

    This site does not permit advertising, and that rule is in place for very good reasons. And by the way, many of the links in the Publishing section are in violation of the rules as well. This is the thanks the moderators get when they try to be lenient.
     
  3. ChickenFreak
    Offline

    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2010
    Messages:
    8,940
    Likes Received:
    5,473
    I understand the frustration when you'd like to post a link and you're not sure if it violates policy. On the other hand, the level of spam-free-ness of this site tells me that the moderation policies are working. I participate on another discussion site that is only a little more lenient, and on that site it's a battle to try to find a promotion-free thread or have a promotion-free discussion. It's so easy to post stuff that is almost but not quite spam that the threads on that site are dominated by meaningless semi-promotional junk.

    So I just accept that this is not a place for me to post a bunch of links, no matter how un-spammy those links are. In a recent thread, I referred to the Voices from the Hellmouth web page by name, rather than link. That compromise works for me; I hope that it works for the moderators. If it doesn't, I'm sure that I'll hear from them someday, and that's fine with me. :)
     
  4. GingerCoffee
    Offline

    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2013
    Messages:
    17,602
    Likes Received:
    5,877
    Location:
    Ralph's side of the island.
    I don't disagree with you about the spam. But clearly what I posted wasn't spam. So it comes down to someone with a ridiculous personal grudge complaining about an innocent post, when a dozen similar posts were not complained about.

    For example, this guy has one post and it's clearly spam: Place to sell unpublished work

    While this person is simply sharing the fact Kickstarter is a place for writers to raise funds.

    You can find a way to call a whole lot of links to things advertisements. Especially if you have an agenda with a forum member.
     
  5. ChickenFreak
    Offline

    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2010
    Messages:
    8,940
    Likes Received:
    5,473
    As I see it, you posted was a promotion of a feature/program/event/whatever-it-should-be-called on another website. No, _your_ personal intentions weren't even a tiny little bit spammy. But the advertising managers of that site would probably be pleased to see their program mentioned. And I can see "well you allowed _that_ promotion; why aren't you allowing this one?!" easily becoming a slippery slope to spam.

    I should say that my judgement of the moderation policies on a forum are strongly influenced by how useful I find that forum. This is one of two forums where (1) I moderately often disagree with specific moderation calls and (2) I override myself because the forum works very well.

    Ginger, I like your posts and find them useful, but in That Other Thread you seemed to take disagreement very personally, as a personal attack on you. I don't think that the objection to your post was in any way a personal attack on you, but I think you're seeing it that way, and I don't want to get back in that tangle. So this is going to be my second and last post on this thread. :)

    Edited to add: Yep, and the first one that you mention is the sort of thing that the "report" triangle is for :) I don't know if the second one violates policy or not; I choose to assume that _all_ links violate policy, because I don't want to figure out the nuances.

    OK, now I'm really out. Really. :) If you happen to want to further discuss, you are completely welcome to private message me; I'm not out because I'm cranky but just because I don't want to participate in a public tangle.
     
  6. GingerCoffee
    Offline

    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2013
    Messages:
    17,602
    Likes Received:
    5,877
    Location:
    Ralph's side of the island.
    See my edit. The rest of your post is not true and off topic. Send a PM and I'll be happy to respond as to why.
     
  7. Cogito
    Offline

    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 19, 2007
    Messages:
    35,935
    Likes Received:
    2,043
    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    Stop trying to turn this into a personal matter. You aren't being persecuted, What you posted was a violation of site policy that has been in place, and strongly enforced, for years.

    But instead of, "Oh I'm sorry, I misunderstood the rules," you choose to respond belligerently. So consider this: Did I post telling you your post violates the rules because I am annoyed with you, or am I annoyed with you because of the way you react every single time someone disagrees with you?

    Do I have a personal grudge against everyone I point out a rule to? Ridiculous.

    You want to accuse someone of making it personal? Look in the mirror.
     
  8. Selbbin
    Online

    Selbbin I hate you Contributor

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2012
    Messages:
    3,201
    Likes Received:
    1,786
    Location:
    Australia
    As opposed to some people having links taken down because of some 'personal agenda', which I don't see, my issue is that a very small amount of people are allowed to post advertising for services in direct breach of the rules because they are 'popular', and in the past this was ignored when complained about. But I've been making them known to the current moderators and it has been resolved reasonably well.
     
  9. shadowwalker
    Offline

    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2011
    Messages:
    3,299
    Likes Received:
    851
    Maybe matters of this sort would be better discussed via PM with the appropriate mods, instead of publicly bickering about it.
     
  10. GingerCoffee
    Offline

    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2013
    Messages:
    17,602
    Likes Received:
    5,877
    Location:
    Ralph's side of the island.
    I sent a PM to the mods before starting this thread and while I'd normally refrain from including any personal aspects, because I don't find them very productive, the relevance here is that the accusation something was spam was arbitrary, given similar stuff has not been called spam. So what makes one thing spam and one thing not?

    In my examples, a member with a single post started a thread that advertised publishing. Clearly spam. Another person linked to Kickstarter. No one in the multiple page thread suggested there was anything spammy about such a link. In the publishing subforum, some links are directly to advertising as I posted above.

    I've been here a while, maybe not that long. I came across a blog that was offering to post short stories. I have no connection to HuffPo. It's not a site that is making money specifically off short stories. They've emailed me back saying writers retain all rights to any stories submitted. I wanted to share that information with other forumites. That's it, nothing more. And for that wanting to share I'm accused of spamming? Seriously?

    Was the accuser really concerned about my sharing? What makes my link spamming while the link to Kickstarter went unnoticed? And I have little doubt I can find dozens of additional examples of links that were no less spam than my sharing something I found.
     
  11. Cogito
    Offline

    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 19, 2007
    Messages:
    35,935
    Likes Received:
    2,043
    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    Exactly. I didn't start this thread, but because my name was brought into it, yes, I responded.

    Some people didn't like the fact that I never allowed this kind of gripe thread when I was a mod. It's self-serving rabble rousing, trying to get a mob response,because taking it to a moderator when you're on shaky ground isn't as likely to win. But if the current governing body allows this kind of thread, then I reserve the right to push back when I am personally targeted.

    Ginger: I report such threads when I see them. Many times, I post as well. I'm more likely to post if the thread is still there when I visit later. I don't expect the mods to eradicate every spammer within minutes - they have lives. But if a thread is not only still there, but active, I am much more likely to say something in the thread.
     
  12. GingerCoffee
    Offline

    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2013
    Messages:
    17,602
    Likes Received:
    5,877
    Location:
    Ralph's side of the island.
    You are the person who accused me of breaking the forum rules for sharing a news link. It's pretty straight forward.
     
  13. Pheonix
    Offline

    Pheonix A Singer of Space Operas and The Fourth Mod of RP Staff Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2012
    Messages:
    5,716
    Likes Received:
    401
    Location:
    The Windy City
    Which starts a flame war and kicks up controversy. I'm sorry, but you retired. If you have a problem with a thread that you already reported, you should take it up with a mod directly instead of opening it up to the public.

    When you were a mod, it was different, you had the authority. Now though, you have to let the current mods do their jobs. Otherwise, you're just making things harder for them. You know this thread is going to get closed. There might even be a few infractions dispensed.

    And all (and this part is directed to Ginger as well) because this wasn't handled privately.

    I hope you all understand that I'm not saying this to make an attack, but this isn't the way to deal with things.
     
    1 person likes this.
  14. shadowwalker
    Offline

    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2011
    Messages:
    3,299
    Likes Received:
    851
    Report a post and then leave it to the mods. Have a dispute, contact the mods and wait for a response. Otherwise we end up with he said/she said/did not/did too crap and people taking sides - ie, a big unnecessary mess.
     
  15. Lemex
    Offline

    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2007
    Messages:
    10,507
    Likes Received:
    3,151
    Location:
    Northeast England
    I wish you had left it in the hands of the mods Ginger. As per the rules I have deleted that other, advertising thread but no infraction has been issued as I don't think this really merits one. Some members here do have certain privileges, as per the rules:

    Other than this, if you wish to bicker such things please take it to PMs.
     
  16. JJ_Maxx
    Offline

    JJ_Maxx Banned

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2012
    Messages:
    3,339
    Likes Received:
    501
    I would say that a community is a group of people. While it is not a democracy, it is in the best interest of the site for the members to keep visiting. If the rules, which were created by previous members, are thought to be innefficient, then I see no reason why there can't be a mature discussion on it.

    We are all adults here and discussion is not implicitly wrong.

    I believe the rules are both confusing and too stringent.

    I mean, this is a writing forum, to help others with writing. It is a discussion forum and not a resource website. The rules don't allow any writing resource to be shared amongst writers at all.

    Granted, the person who signs up and makes one post with a link to a website is probably a spammer and is advertising.

    But if I find an amazing resource for other writers, why shouldn't there be some way to share it?

    There must be a happy medium between the two.
     
  17. Quille
    Offline

    Quille Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2013
    Messages:
    111
    Likes Received:
    5
    Location:
    Toronto
    I agree with this.

    I also wonder, is it permissible to describe a new resource and invite others to message for the details?
     
  18. Lemex
    Offline

    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2007
    Messages:
    10,507
    Likes Received:
    3,151
    Location:
    Northeast England
    I'd be ok with allowing trusted resources - and we do, just on a limited basis - but private PM suggestions are a no from me. It's just not in a community spirit I don't think.
     
  19. GingerCoffee
    Offline

    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2013
    Messages:
    17,602
    Likes Received:
    5,877
    Location:
    Ralph's side of the island.
    I did wait for a mod to address the thread in question.

    I started this additional thread to get a clarification on what makes one link an advertisement while another is not? And the reason for bringing up the individual was to discuss the personal influence involved in deciding what makes one link an ad and another not.

    I doubt that is what the forum administration had in mind with this rule, it's OK for Jack but not for John.

    So does that mean if no one complains there's no issue? If that's the case, how do you keep from the infraction being personal?

    I am asking for a clarification, what makes one link an advertisement and one not. Since this came up, I've see a number of links that are no less an advertisement than my sharing something I thought other writers would be interested in.

    Let's cut to the chase here, rules aside, I had no intention of posting an advertisement, nor would most people call it one by usual standards. So if that link is going to be identified as an ad, per the rules, while something like a link to Kickstarter is not, how am I supposed to tell the difference? What criteria should I apply in order to follow the rules?
     
  20. Lemex
    Offline

    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2007
    Messages:
    10,507
    Likes Received:
    3,151
    Location:
    Northeast England
    It is what the forum administration had in mind if this bolded section is in the rules:

    There are also certain members who I understand have arrangements and agreements with the site owner too, which happened before I was a mod. If you have a serious concern about any one member then it might pay to contact him too.
     
  21. thirdwind
    Offline

    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2008
    Messages:
    7,351
    Likes Received:
    2,891
    Location:
    Boston
    The way I understand it, any links dealing with submissions to contests/magazines/whatever are against the site rules. Even if you don't include a link and make a post saying that magazine X has a contest, it's still against the site rules because it's considered advertising (mods, correct me if I'm wrong here). This is just a personal preference, but I wouldn't mind hearing about contests and such held by prestigious magazines. Of course, "prestigious" is subjective, so I can see why this would be a problem.

    As an aside, I am more likely to check out links by members who have been here a long time because I figure they know the rules well enough to know what and what not to link to. It's unfair but true.

    Also, I do think some of the rules need to be made clearer, including the rules about links, but that's perhaps an issue for another thread.
     
  22. GingerCoffee
    Offline

    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2013
    Messages:
    17,602
    Likes Received:
    5,877
    Location:
    Ralph's side of the island.
    I hate to belabor this, but the rule is not clear. How does a link to Kickstarter in a post (I'm sure it was not some special arrangement) differ from a link to a HuffPo blog that tells readers the blogger plans to post other people's short stories in the blog? There's no money involved and publication rights remain 100% with the writer.
     
  23. Quille
    Offline

    Quille Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2013
    Messages:
    111
    Likes Received:
    5
    Location:
    Toronto
    So, if I encounter something in the future, is my best bet to check with you before posting?
     
  24. Lemex
    Offline

    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2007
    Messages:
    10,507
    Likes Received:
    3,151
    Location:
    Northeast England
    It would be smart if you did come to a mod just to be sure. Many members do.
     
  25. JJ_Maxx
    Offline

    JJ_Maxx Banned

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2012
    Messages:
    3,339
    Likes Received:
    501
    Then why not just say, 'No links.'

    This rule goes to great lengths to say the same thing.

    This rule seems to be contrary to this rule:

    So we can post two external links to other sites in our signature, but not in posts?

    I would say that linking www.dictionary.com or www.rhymezone.com is not considered advertising and is perfectly acceptable. As long as there are free, non-commercial, writing-specific sites, they should be allowed.
     

Share This Page