People being banned for advertising

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  #1  
Old 02-27-09, 03:38 PM
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People being banned for advertising

Where is the line drawn between telling people of a worthwhile product, and "advertising"?

I have seen even moderators in the various forums, mention a product by name, that they felt is good. So where is the line drawn between "advertising" and suggesting products. companies, etc.? Isn't 'plugging' anything, a form of "advertising"?

Or does it more have to do with people more or less plugging themselves, trying to get people to buy something that THEY offer. If say that is the case, why doesn't a moderator simply erase that which is not allowed, and give the person a warning first?

And say that IS the case - Then when someone gets banned and say a super moderator gives the reason why the person was banned - is there perhaps a better word(s) that can be used, rather than say "advertising?; such as "self or company affiliated promotion of service/products not allowed"? That way the understanding might be more clear and perhaps the rule violation may be more recognised.
 
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  #2  
Old 02-27-09, 03:49 PM
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Naw...when you get a one poster coming on and saying wow what a great product, its wonderful, heres the link...what do you think..etc etc etc, no reason to waste time...boom...Banned.

Some folks have probably been warned and continue to post with their info hidden or disquised..like w w w. jims plaster.com..boom..... Banned

Maybe they could contribute..but IMO..they're just trolling for customers.
 
  #3  
Old 02-27-09, 04:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Gunguy45 View Post
Naw...when you get a one poster coming on and saying wow what a great product, its wonderful, heres the link...what do you think..etc etc etc, no reason to waste time...boom...Banned.
Okay. What then about the person who says what a great product some product is (a super moderator even did this -while today I saw where the same super moderator banned someone else for "advertising") - hence my wanting to understand the definition here on advertising.

Isn't promoting a product by name, saying how great it is, advertising? What does an associated 'link' have anything to do with the offense, since any of us can look up that named product on the web, without a link?
 
  #4  
Old 02-27-09, 04:10 PM
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It's the one post thing I guess....

If I posted how great this widget I just bought is and what a wonderful tool it is and linked to a site selling it..do you think I'd get banned? Doubtful...unless it was www.Gunguy.com ...lol.
 
  #5  
Old 02-27-09, 04:12 PM
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I would think if the mention of a product is not directly to draw sales of that product then it would be acceptable.If I say that xyz saw is a great tool and did a good job for me in a project,and I have no involvement with xyz tool co.,then that's not advertising.If someone says xyz saw is great go buy one today and they phrase it as a seperate attempt to draw sales and not as the tool's use in a particular project then that's advertising.
 
  #6  
Old 02-27-09, 04:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Gunguy45 View Post
Of course I had to go there. LOL. (Think P.T. Barnum)
 
  #7  
Old 02-27-09, 04:27 PM
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Originally Posted by spdavid View Post
I would think if the mention of a product is not directly to draw sales of that product then it would be acceptable.If I say that xyz saw is a great tool and did a good job for me in a project,and I have no involvement with xyz tool co.,then that's not advertising.If someone says xyz saw is great go buy one today and they phrase it as a seperate attempt to draw sales and not as the tool's use in a particular project then that's advertising.
If say a poster who has a good reputation here for helping people, and has say 10,000 posts here, who promotes excellent products sometimes, based on no personal gain (so we think), but to be helpful to others - but say a poster with 1-10 (or some low number of posts) comes online here to say what a great product is, there might be some cause for suspicion, right? But how do you know?, or prove, what someone's motive is?

How does someone phrase it in attempt to draw sales, as compared to someone who just is trying to help out? Can you give a good example? One that is really clear? And can you think of an example where it would be in some really grey area where you just aren't quite sure?

Take that super moderator's plug of this one product the moderator thought was good. How do we not know the moderator's spouse isn't the CEO fo the company, for example? From my memory, it was an original enough product that we could look up and find the exact link to that one company making that one product.

IS the bottom line that to being banned - one must provide some e-mail or link address to a product or service? Is that the key? Could that also be defined by the word "spam"? "Advertising spam"? Could that be a good way of putting it, to make it more clear? But if so, like I said in earlier post (or the case with the super moderator in paragraph above), if the product of a company is simply mentioned without the accompanying address, is that not in it's own right an advertising plug?

What if someone said I know of this XYZ product made up in northwest Washington state, that does a really good job of taking care of the type of problem like you have? Is that example, advertising?, even though the complete address is not given?
 

Last edited by ecman51; 02-27-09 at 04:46 PM. Reason: added substantially more
  #8  
Old 02-27-09, 05:34 PM
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Here is a good case in point: Just got back from one of the plumbing forums. Someone said they had a problem. And to fix his problem, he plans to follow "these directions". When you click on the blue or green worded "these directions", it takes you to some company referal network. Now - This poster has I think about 6 posts. The post MAY have been done in innocense, with him first seeking answers, and also with he himself discovering one of the plans he plans to undertake.

But maybe not. Could be a clever way around the advertising rule here? How do you know? How can such a rule be fairly enforced? And if it can't be, why have it?
 
  #9  
Old 02-27-09, 05:49 PM
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There are some behind the scenes investigating we can do when there is some doubt. Good points made here; generally speaking I think you'll find that most people banned for advertising or spamming are very low post number members - often a first timer. I ban about a dozen members a day probably and they are almost all pushing a product or service in their first posting. What you usually DON'T see is the offending material because it has been moved to the archives that are not viewable by the general membership and/or the post has been edited.

We DO make mistakes sometimes, of course (never The Tow Guy, naturally) and when that happens the member is reinstated.

There is no problem with mentioning products, businesses, and services in posts and it would often be quite difficult to address many questions without naming names.

The most common offenders right now are selling cheap shoes and DVD ripping software.

That poster will likely be banned; the guys looking for free advertising try all kinds of stealth maneuvers, 99% of which don't work.
 
  #10  
Old 02-27-09, 06:06 PM
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Okay, I checked that post; no problems. The webpage that comes up is simply a set of directions that the poster was referring to. Does not seem to be any intent to advertise. The real stealth advertisers would have linked the click-able text to a sales pitch or whatever.

And just a side note, if you want to see what unrestricted posting in a forum does, try surfing around some of the other on-line forums that don't restrict advertisers. I had occasion to go looking for something the other day and OMG you couldn 't sort out the legitimate info from the advertisers, which included text that when moused-over brought up pop-up ads. It may not be perfect here, but at least the junk is kept to a minimum.

BTW it's even possible to get banned before making a post.
 
  #11  
Old 02-27-09, 06:32 PM
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Originally Posted by the_tow_guy View Post
BTW it's even possible to get banned before making a post.
By choosing a 'bad' username? (i.e inuendo of sex, threats, etc.)
 
  #12  
Old 02-27-09, 06:39 PM
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Originally Posted by the_tow_guy View Post
We DO make mistakes sometimes, of course (never The Tow Guy, naturally) and when that happens the member is reinstated.
That is nice to hear - that this forum at least tries to be fair and is willing to listen and look into such matters if necessary. Congrats on that. At least this makes the forum not totally seem Gestapo like.

There once was a moderator here who seemed rather nasty to people, and then he disappeared, and I wondered if HE got banned? (or simply retired).
 
  #13  
Old 02-27-09, 07:20 PM
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When a poster poses a question regarding something I have first handedly done, I sometimes refer to a page on my own website so they can actually see a finished result. I disclaim it, with regards to no solicitation is intended, but then my website is available on my profile. I just make sure I am not advertising to someone in my area, who could construe it to be a solicitation. I wouldn't, in all honesty, work for someone who tried to contact me via the forum. Just not ethical.
But I do see posters with minimal (1-10) posts whose referral is to some Chinese shoe manufacturer, and I think that is wrong.
And we mention vendors almost every day showing where items can be found, so is that advertising? I don't think so.
Some posters actually want our opinion on certain tools, too. So to be honest, we have to tell them why a PC saw is better than a XYZ saw, not slamming XYZ in the meantime.
 
  #14  
Old 02-27-09, 08:20 PM
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Anyone who has more posts than me is safe.....

Just banned the author of this one:

"How to rip a DVD and edit DVD on Mac/Windows"

Shows up under different names about 50 times a day and gets immediately banned by whichever mod sees it first.
 
  #15  
Old 02-28-09, 08:10 AM
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EDIT--I re-read Chandler's post and think he already answered most of my questions here.


Sounds like you are looking at intent, which is hard to define but you have to go with a "gut" feeling.

Are there any issues with reccomending one item over another? I know I have done that in an attempt to help people sometimes, but have often remained vague.

For example.. lets say someone asks for a fairly decent and affordable hammer (okay, my imagination sucks right now).

I tell them that I have been happy with my hammer from hammers-r-us or that I had a bad experience with ones made by the crappy hammer company. Since its my own experience and neither of them is paying me, is that alright?

I have been vague in the past like saying that irrigation (underground sprinklers) controllers from hardware stores are just not as good as the professional ones you can get from an irrigation supply house.

I feel totally fine by that since people generally know that a big box store like the ones we all know have lots of things but they are nowhere near a wholesaler of specific parts like a plumbing supply house or electrical supplier would carry.

Of course, I also replied to some advertiser thinking he was genuine in his question of whether or not some device was okay to buy before he got it himself then later re-thought it and said to myself I was an idiot since he was obviously advertising. The writing was on the wall, he even had the website in the Thread Title.

Although it could have been a genuine question (as a father I can see wanting safety equipment) but I have no doubt this person was advertising so I think its a fine line.

If I bought a smoke alarm, for example, I would like to know if others have found them trustworthy or if everyone died in a fire because it didn't work.
 

Last edited by TheCaptain; 02-28-09 at 08:12 AM. Reason: re-read a post
  #16  
Old 02-28-09, 09:16 AM
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Originally Posted by ecman51` View Post
If say a poster who has a good reputation here for helping people, and has say 10,000 posts here, who promotes excellent products sometimes, based on no personal gain (so we think), but to be helpful to others - but say a poster with 1-10 (or some low number of posts) comes online here to say what a great product is, there might be some cause for suspicion, right? But how do you know?, or prove, what someone's motive is?

How does someone phrase it in attempt to draw sales, as compared to someone who just is trying to help out? Can you give a good example? One that is really clear? And can you think of an example where it would be in some really grey area where you just aren't quite sure?

Take that super moderator's plug of this one product the moderator thought was good. How do we not know the moderator's spouse isn't the CEO fo the company, for example? From my memory, it was an original enough product that we could look up and find the exact link to that one company making that one product.

IS the bottom line that to being banned - one must provide some e-mail or link address to a product or service? Is that the key? Could that also be defined by the word "spam"? "Advertising spam"? Could that be a good way of putting it, to make it more clear? But if so, like I said in earlier post (or the case with the super moderator in paragraph above), if the product of a company is simply mentioned without the accompanying address, is that not in it's own right an advertising plug?

What if someone said I know of this XYZ product made up in northwest Washington state, that does a really good job of taking care of the type of problem like you have? Is that example, advertising?, even though the complete address is not given?
First off I say if there is real doubt it should be like the law,reasonable doubt = no ban unless it repeats over and over.

Second I don't think it's that difficult to determine if a recommendation is advertising or not.This site deals with specific projects etc of members and if a post that recommends a product or tool does not relate to the theme of the thread then it should be suspect.

How many posts you have is not the way to determine legitimacy.

An example is a thread in tools concerning "rage saws".This is one that involves reasonable doubt.It could be advertising but might not be and is unclear.The poster should be watched for future similar behavior before a verdict is reached.
 
  #17  
Old 02-28-09, 12:35 PM
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I think everybody has the gist of how things go and there's no problem with recommending products and services in response to a legitimate question (as opposed to a "set-up" question). You do need to maintain a degree of respect in negative recommendations so as not to slide into "bashing"; and yes, I know that is a subjective judgement in many cases.
 
  #18  
Old 02-28-09, 01:23 PM
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It is safe to say that a product kicks butt and where to find it, however to cover my butt, I am honest in saying that I don't work for that store. Be a good trick since I clean a movie theater and a couple of the cleaning products I have mentioned can be used for virtually anything.
 
  #19  
Old 02-28-09, 01:29 PM
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I think the answers that have been given here have helped not just myself, but others, in figuring out a little bit better where the line is drawn between recommending a prodcut based on it's effectiveness in regards to a specific thread, and advertising, as defined by this forum.

And we know that Chandler can do what he wants, as he has more posts than the_tow_guy.
 
  #20  
Old 02-28-09, 03:58 PM
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you can edit your posts, if you have the command console, to say any number you want. but i don't think that is the case...
 
  #21  
Old 02-28-09, 07:07 PM
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Really most times the attempt at free advertising is pretty obvious and the offender never comes back to complain. The ones in the gray area are sometimes discussed between Mod's before any action is taken.

It's not in the public view, but in the Moderator's Handbook the actual guideline reads:

“If it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, looks like a duck, it must be a duck”.
Beer 4U2
 
  #22  
Old 03-01-09, 08:27 PM
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That is all good info.

I just came across what I thought was advertising in the firearms forum. Posting of a link to a web infomercial.

That aside, I know I have made 2 posts where I thought I was helping someone and they were removed. I know I was not advertising.

You mods can look back and see what was removed. I would like to know why.

I enjoy helping people, that's why I spend a little bit of my spare time here.
 
  #23  
Old 03-02-09, 04:57 PM
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Desert,

If one of your posts dissappear, it's was because the whole thread was removed because the OP was a advertiser.
 
  #24  
Old 03-04-09, 07:06 PM
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Thanks OKC,......................
 
  #25  
Old 03-05-09, 09:56 AM
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speaking of such things, is the best way to report such things still the ! mark in the trianble in the top right corner?

Does that go to one moderator, or many?

edit: I ask because I found like 5-7 ad posts today. Seem to come in waves, I have noticed.
 
  #26  
Old 03-05-09, 10:06 AM
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Cap'n...
Yep, use the report post function. No need to even respond since it will never be seen by the original poster. The Mods get notified and will eliminate the reported post. They normally look at everything the poster put up and eliminate them all if they can, or notify a SuperMod as I understand.

Also, I think you only need to notify them of one spam post out of multiples. I'm still not sure if you should report spam posts by the same person in multiple forums.

And yeah, they do come in waves...the Chinese economy is down as well...lol
 
  #27  
Old 03-05-09, 11:43 AM
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Speaking of spam,the ipod post in this same forum is spam.
 
  #28  
Old 03-05-09, 12:01 PM
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They're gone. That's one of the most prevelant type spammers we're banning lately.
 
  #29  
Old 03-05-09, 12:44 PM
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thanks, gunguy. If i reported the same person more than once, its was becuase I paid little attention to the name of the poster. I just happened by one person who had multiple posts and was wondering what else they did. Ya know, curiosity.
 
  #30  
Old 03-05-09, 05:18 PM
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It's alright if you report multiple spam posts from the same poster. Us Mod's usually do a good job clearing them out. You will usually notice them in the early morning, usually between 4-7am. I think that's when the spam bots go to work. Luckily, John (the_tow_guy) is typically on at those times to destroy them.

Capt, if we see a spammer, we can pull all their posts, in multiple forums, all at once, so we don't have to go to every single post they created. A few clicks, and BAMMMM! C ya lata!

They keep us gainfully employeed.
 
  #31  
Old 03-06-09, 08:22 AM
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ok, thanks. Ill still use the report button if its not an "annoying buttong" if ya know what I mean. I moderate on similar forums and it can be a pain hunting for them.
 
  #32  
Old 03-17-09, 01:07 PM
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Hi there,

I'd like to add a comment--> not all the deleted posts are spam, advertisement, etc. When deleted, the moderator adds a brief explanation of the reason why he/she deleted the post

Sometimes, a DIY user posts a candid question. Perhaps the answer is obvious for many people, but not for the OP, so we try to answer politely, providing solutions and creating a comfy enviroment.
Therefore, answers containing harassment, offensive wording or mocking other users' answers are deleted
 
  #33  
Old 03-17-09, 01:32 PM
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uh-oh, did I do that? I hope I did not.
 
  #34  
Old 03-17-09, 01:45 PM
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We haven't made you walk the plank, have we?
 
  #35  
Old 03-17-09, 01:48 PM
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Naw..they're talking about all the people pushing BM and SWP....lol
 
  #36  
Old 03-17-09, 02:24 PM
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  #37  
Old 03-17-09, 02:30 PM
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Hi Captain,

My comment was not directed to anyone in particular
I was just completing an additional reason why posts are deleted.
Of course, there are other reasons as well, like dangerous advice or non-beneficial answers
In other words, post are deleted not only for advertising reasons
 
  #38  
Old 03-17-09, 04:39 PM
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sweet, Gotcha. Thanks. Just wanted to make sure I was not offending anyone. i have told ppl things they already know, but you can never be sure of what others are already aware of so that is bound to happen. I'll just carry on then.
 
  #39  
Old 03-18-09, 04:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Gunguy45 View Post
Naw..they're talking about all the people pushing BM and SWP....lol

Hey, they'd hit me with the plank if I recomended cheap paint that doesn't preform
 
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