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JAXAi
2011-Jan-04, 07:03 PM
Hello Staff,

I was wondering. Due to the fact that a link to a site (forum actually) I host was removed during a small /rant :think:

And yet I have seen numerous members with promotional links in their signature (One I remember said something to the effect: if ATM is too mild for you...come here or something) which have not been removed, yet are consistent posters; what is the official policy of BAUT in this regards?

As an aside to that: are all members here equal when it comes to the enforcement of the rules? Or are some members more equal than others? This question is highly related to the rant here: http://www.bautforum.com/showthread.php/111039-Sea-Dragon-Cheap-Heavy-Lift-Capability-The-Needs-to-be-Rexamined?p=1837077#post1837077

Thanks and cheers,

JAXAi

p.s. Sorry to make a fuss in the thread, I understand the rules regarding time and place for everything.

Moose
2011-Jan-04, 07:44 PM
The intent behind the no-promotions rule is explained in the Rules document. Emphasis is mine.


6. Advertising, Solicitation, and Spam

Do not post advertisements of any kind without securing the express consent of the administrators beforehand. Do not use this bulletin board as a vehicle to promote your own website, product, or forum, nor to sell merchandise. These are egregious offenses which will result in the deletion of the offending posts and banning of the user(s) responsible. Do not submit threads/posts containing identical text in multiple forum categories; that's considered spamming the board, and likewise will be dealt with accordingly.

You can put a website in your signature if you wish, but please think carefully before you do so. If you have any doubts that it may break one of these rules, contact a moderator or administrator first.

Spamming is one of our few hanging offenses. Deliberate promotion is, similarly, a serious offense; one we rarely warn twice for, if we ever have. Our members do not wish to be promoted at (as opposed to 'to'), and we go through considerable effort to keep this board clean.

For members with a history of participation, we do tolerate (contrast with the word 'permit') an in-signature link of a personal site or blog, if it is strictly non-commercial, subtle, and otherwise complies with the rules. We generally allow linking to and/or quoting content from one's own site, if (and considerable stress on the 'if') the content provided is the purpose of the post. If it becomes apparent that the purpose of the post/link/quote is to expose/promote the site itself, we treat it like promotion. A site that carries ads or solicits donations, even passively, is considered "commercial" for the purposes of that rule.

When in doubt, ask first. (There are rare and exceptional circumstances where we would grant permission for limited promotion, but if one doesn't ask first, it's probably fair to suggest we won't grant permission retroactively.)

I'll add (because it's indirectly relevant to this thread) that with regard to quoting 3rd party materials, the board enforces to the academic fair-use standard. You can quote part of an article or book, but not most, nor all. Attribution is mandatory. Linking to an external page on a 3rd party site, with summary and/or summarizing quote, generally suffices as attribution. For quoting from academic papers, especially print papers, I'd urge use the APA standard or equivalent. Whatever is necessary to permit tracing the document/paper/video back toward its origins.

While it's not always possible to trace something back to its origins (and, in practice, we don't attempt to enforce copyright off of BAUT, unless it's blatant and obvious piracy/infringement), BAUTers who quote 3rd party are not permitted to be the dead end of the chain of attribution.

PetersCreek
2011-Jan-04, 07:47 PM
Hello Staff,

I was wondering. Due to the fact that a link to a site (forum actually) I host was removed during a small /rant :think:

And yet I have seen numerous members with promotional links in their signature (One I remember said something to the effect: if ATM is too mild for you...come here or something) which have not been removed, yet are consistent posters; what is the official policy of BAUT in this regards?

The official policy is yes, we do allow somewhat promotional links in signatures, so long as they don't get out of hand. Things like banners, animated links, and blatantly commercial signatures along the lines of "Ask my how you can save 15% on car insurance!" are non-starters. We sometimes have to consider others on a case-by-case basis. The example you mentioned (if I'm correct in its identity) was discussed at some length and allowed to stand. The decision was not based on tenure or reputation.

Your case is a bit different than the question of signatures. Your "rant" (to use your word) what appeared to be a farewell to the board, with the link posted on your way out the door, so to speak. That's simply too promotional, IMO. If you decide to stay and participate, you'll have the same allowance for and restrictions on signature links as any other member.


As an aside to that: are all members here equal when it comes to the enforcement of the rules? Or are some members more equal than others? This question is highly related to the rant here: http://www.bautforum.com/showthread.php/111039-Sea-Dragon-Cheap-Heavy-Lift-Capability-The-Needs-to-be-Rexamined?p=1837077#post1837077

Speaking generally, yes, all members are equally bound by our rules. Getting into specifics isn't appropriate in the Feedback forum. You can share your concerns with the entire mod/admin team by reporting the specific post(s) in question.


p.s. Sorry to make a fuss in the thread, I understand the rules regarding time and place for everything.

Thank you. Our rules about reporting aren't intended to turn members into snitches or tattletales. Since we mods can't read every post in every thread, we rely on reports to head off trouble before it starts...or at least, before it gets worse. This and the prohibition of DIY moderation goes a long way to keeping this board free of flame wars.

kleindoofy
2011-Jan-04, 08:41 PM
Is it considered spam when one advertises official, chemically produced, brand name Viagra at recommended retail prices, sold over the counter at a real pharmacy? ;)

Moose
2011-Jan-04, 08:46 PM
Never heard of it.

slang
2011-Jan-04, 08:54 PM
It's a store with a big counter where they sell medicine, but that's not important now.

ETA: where did my other line go? grr @ database errors. Anyway, in-thread commenting on moderation or behavior is also just plain disruptive to the thread. Those comments are not on topic, but you can't just skip them because there might be on-topic content in it too. Annoying.

peter eldergill
2011-Jan-05, 08:13 PM
It's a store with a big counter where they sell medicine, but that's not important now.
.

HA!

JAXAi
2011-Jan-14, 04:48 AM
Just got off of my suspension, and I would love to have a question answered. Now I was suspended for promoting my website, which is a discussion forum, which has zero advertisements and I have run it at a loss for over 2 years. I have seen numerous members promoting their sites in their signatures, and I can assume my suspension had nothing to do with me promoting my site and everything to due with me pointing out hypocrisy and favoritism. I will not link to my site now, but the moderators know if they followed my site's link that it is completely non-commercial and a discussion board.

The justification of my ban is here: http://www.bautforum.com/showthread.php/30979-BAUT-banned-suspended-posters-log?p=1838067#post1838067

So here are some signatures I found while on suspension which obviously do the very same thing (actually some of the sites I found actually link to commercial sites which was part the justification given for my suspension:

tommac: http://www.bautforum.com/showthread.php/111231-Board-malfunction?p=1837736#post1837736
3 sites promoted in his signature.

Jeff Root: http://www.bautforum.com/showthread.php/110585-I-have-a-question-about-wiki-leaks?p=1831326#post1831326
Promoting his website in his signature

(As an aside I did not pick these specific users for any particular reason, just as examples of people doing the exact same thing I was doing yet not banned/suspended. Actually more-so as their promotion is in their signature and therefore in every post they make. I mentioned my site 2 times in 2 comments.)

Now I could go through and find many more, but you get the picture. I was suspended for a practice which is done regularly with the "popular" members, yet I get suspended for a week.

Either you have a consistent policy, or you have no rules. I am obviously not a spammer, Ive contributed to numerous threads in my time here so far (in the brief period before my unjust suspension) including:

http://www.bautforum.com/showthread.php/111039-Sea-Dragon-Cheap-Heavy-Lift-Capability-The-Needs-to-be-Rexamined
http://www.bautforum.com/showthread.php/111143-Must-have-software-for-Ubuntu?p=1836675&highlight=

So can we get some clarification here? Or will this reply even be posted, or if it is posted will I just be banned once again, thread post deleted and simply I'm "disappeared" like a Chinese dissident in mainland China.

Jens
2011-Jan-14, 05:02 AM
So can we get some clarification here? Or will this reply even be posted, or if it is posted will I just be banned once again, thread post deleted and simply I'm "disappeared" like a Chinese dissident in mainland China.

I'm sympathetic to the question, and agree that it's best if policies are implemented fairly, though obviously this is an ideal. But on the other hand, I don't think the comparison with China is really a good one. You must be aware that they are taking dissidents and putting them into labor camps, or worse. Here you're just being suspended from the Internet forum, and there are plenty of other ones out there. I absolutely think that the moderators are perfectly entitled to suspend people if they feel they are being disruptive. It's a service offered to us by moderators who I think pretty much work as volunteers.

JAXAi
2011-Jan-14, 05:12 AM
Good point Jens. I was being a bit hyperbolic regarding the China bit. I was simply upset at the sheer hypocrisy at the way I was treated. I joined this board to contribute and be a part of the community within the rules stated. I had read them and seen many people posting links promoting sites, so I thought I could do so as well. The only time I was disruptive was when one member was trolling my thread and I called it out. I was then given an infraction for calling it out, while the trolling member (who I will not name, but does lots of hit and run posts) yet never is warned or punished in any visible way, while I was publically warned and given an infraction. When I asked about this double standard I was given no answer. Then I posted a link to my site saying basically the same thing as tommac in his signature but in a thread reply, I was suspended.

Then I find this thread and they are basically calling me a spammer, when this is the furthest thing from the truth.

So yeah, I was a bit upset, hence the hyperbole regarding China.

baric
2011-Jan-14, 05:19 AM
Just got off of my suspension, and I would love to have a question answered. Now I was suspended for promoting my website, which is a discussion forum, which has zero advertisements and I have run it at a loss for over 2 years.

ok, here's my two cents.

You posted a "goodbye cruel world" rant in one of your threads because you didn't like the moderation. In the CONTENT of that post, you then encouraged BAUT members to come to a competing forum. Considering that you have only been around a very short time and were apparently leaving, I am surprised that you were not given an immediate and permanent ban. The moderators were very lenient, imo.

Now, it is absurd to compare that to the unobstructive link to a science site in Jeff Root's sig. His link in no way competes with or detracts from the purpose of BAUT.

You have a slightly better case in comparison for Tommac, who lists several forum links in his sig. I am a little surprised that the links are allowed but I am confident that the BAUT moderators have probably discussed them with Tommac. And then again Tommac doesn't promote those links within posts that essentially stated "this forum sucks come to my forum at.... ". If he did, I am sure he would have gotten the same treatment as you, regardless of post count.

Jens
2011-Jan-14, 05:28 AM
So yeah, I was a bit upset, hence the hyperbole regarding China.

Sure, I understand that things can be frustrating, and I was just reacting to that one comment. I think more generally: I can't see how anybody would consider you a spammer. It seems fairly clear that you are a space enthusiast, and so are the moderators here, so I really doubt that they mean anything personally against you. I've always found that the moderators are well-intentioned, but they have to put up with lots of stuff I don't envy, and they have human foibles like anybody else, so their decisions will not always be perfect. So sure, I think it would be helpful to get a clarification of why your link was considered problematic. I have to admit I haven't seen your website, so really can't make any judgment on whether it would be a problem or not.

baric
2011-Jan-14, 05:39 AM
Sure, I understand that things can be frustrating, and I was just reacting to that one comment. I think more generally: I can't see how anybody would consider you a spammer. It seems fairly clear that you are a space enthusiast, and so are the moderators here, so I really doubt that they mean anything personally against you. I've always found that the moderators are well-intentioned, but they have to put up with lots of stuff I don't envy, and they have human foibles like anybody else, so their decisions will not always be perfect. So sure, I think it would be helpful to get a clarification of why your link was considered problematic. I have to admit I haven't seen your website, so really can't make any judgment on whether it would be a problem or not.

The link itself is not a problem. It's the context in which he promoted it. Here. (http://www.bautforum.com/showthread.php/111039-Sea-Dragon-Cheap-Heavy-Lift-Capability-The-Needs-to-be-Rexamined?p=1837077#post1837077)

TLDR version:
"The moderators here suck. I'm leaving and you can ban me if you want. But come visit my forum at xxxx where our moderators don't suck."

Seriously, that post alone was probably a bannable offense on 99% of the forums on the internet but yet we are supposed to think Jaxa is the lone guy standing up to the tanks in Tianamen Square.

JAXAi
2011-Jan-14, 05:43 AM
Baric: One thing I can say is this: My site is not a "competitor" with BAUT. I see BAUT as a specific discussion forum about a subject I love. My forum is more of a general discussion forum and it would be comparing apples to watermelons.

The thing that threw me was the fact that Tommac literally says in his sig: If ATM is too strict for you, come check out site (which does directly compete in a very relevant way).

However all of that aside you can never say really 2 discussion boards compete. This board is an educational tool and as such is quite strict in their moderation of language, etc. I completely understand and the justification of "think of the children" is very much legitimate in this sense. My site is relaxed, my sites only concern is spam bots and such. I like the free flow of ideas and opinions.

So either you have a consist rules which is consistently enforced, or you dont have rules. There should be no grey area in a black and white situation. And this is quite black and white.

p.s. Before my "goodbye cruel world" post I had tried to bring attention to the mods in numerous reasonable ways in the thread, and received absolutely no response except to get an infraction for pointing it out.

Tensor
2011-Jan-14, 05:47 AM
JAXAi, while i've seen and I appreciate your contributions here, I have to agree with baric's assessment on your "goodbye" post. I'm sure if you had simply explained your link to the mods or admins, put it in your signature, and simply didn't refer to it, you probably would have it there with no problems (or at least a reasoned explanation on why you couldn't put it in your signature).

In defense of tommac's links, the only link that remotely competes with BAUT is the againstthemainstream.com, and that is there to allow people to discuss and develop ATM ideas, which is different from how the ATM forum here works. That came about (IIRC) due to the inability of several people (including tommac) not being able to simply discuss their ATM ideas here. He simply set up a place for those who want to be able to do that, since it's not possible here.

JAXAi
2011-Jan-14, 05:51 AM
The link itself is not a problem. It's the context in which he promoted it. Here. (http://www.bautforum.com/showthread.php/111039-Sea-Dragon-Cheap-Heavy-Lift-Capability-The-Needs-to-be-Rexamined?p=1837077#post1837077)

TLDR version:
"The moderators here suck. I'm leaving and you can ban me if you want. But come visit my forum at xxxx where our moderators don't suck."

You should not misquote me and build a straw man out of my post. Linking to it is fine, but this is a bit out of line.


Seriously, that post alone was probably a bannable offense on 99% of the forums on the internet but yet we are supposed to think Jaxa is the lone guy standing up to the tanks in Tianamen Square.
Im a member of over 30 discussion boards, and host 4 of my own. I have had these kinds of discussions as a member and as a moderator/admin without banning even being brought up. Your 99% stat is way off. This board has one of the itchiest trigger fingers regarding banning/infractions that Ive seen.

Now regarding the content of what I said (outside of complaining about the double standard). How is what I said ANY different than this signature:
http://www.againstthemainstream.com <- Too ATM for Baut? Visit us. Link: http://www.bautforum.com/showthread.php/111231-Board-malfunction?p=1837736#post1837736

baric
2011-Jan-14, 05:53 AM
The thing that threw me was the fact that Tommac literally says in his sig: If ATM is too strict for you, come check out site (which does directly compete in a very relevant way).


You are missing one important aspect to that point. The ATM forum is the backwater of BAUT; its primary purpose is to keep the crazies out of the other subforums. If Tommac sucked away every ATM post from BAUT, I think there would be a lot of discreet high-fiving going on.

JAXAi
2011-Jan-14, 05:57 AM
You are missing one important aspect to that point. The ATM forum is the backwater of BAUT; its primary purpose is to keep the crazies out of the other subforums. If Tommac sucked away every ATM post from BAUT, I think there would be a lot of discreet high-fiving going on.

That would be like making a double standard for law (very relevant to this discussion). So you could say: Murder is illegal, but as long as you kill someone we didnt like its ok.

The rules should be consistent and applied to all members in a similar manner. I mean if they ban all "bad" language here because of concern about children and students, I would think they would like to (even more so) set a good example regarding behavior, and enforcement of rules which in my mind is much more important to children than a few bad words they will see on TV anyway ;)

Jens
2011-Jan-14, 06:02 AM
p.s. Before my "goodbye cruel world" post I had tried to bring attention to the mods in numerous reasonable ways in the thread, and received absolutely no response except to get an infraction for pointing it out.

To be honest, I looked through the thread. I assume you are referring to The Jim as the person trolling your thread. I agree that he is fairly argumentative, but I think you are too (as can most of us here). But it doesn't seem like what I call "trolling." You guys were discussing a plan, and my somewhat superficial understanding is that he was basically criticizing it as infeasible.

And you may be right that the mods here can appear to be a bit trigger-happy, but on the other hand that keeps the atmosphere fairly courteous. The thing about Internet forums, for good or bad, is that they tend to attract argumentative people, I think probably by definition.

baric
2011-Jan-14, 06:04 AM
You should not misquote me and build a straw man out of my post. Linking to it is fine, but this is a bit out of line.

It was a paraphrase. I'll let others be the judge of its accuracy. That's how *I* read it.


Im a member of over 30 discussion boards, and host 4 of my own. I have had these kinds of discussions as a member and as a moderator/admin without banning even being brought up. Your 99% stat is way off. This board has one of the itchiest trigger fingers regarding banning/infractions that Ive seen.

Yep. It's also one of rare internet forums that's not a cesspool.

You should not have been banned for disagreeing with the moderators, but for trying to leech members to your forum with a goodbye post after only being here a very short time. Most established forums do not response politely to that kind of behavior. But the itchy trigger fingers at BAUT only gave you a short suspension rather than a banning. Chinese dissidents never had it so easy!


Now regarding the content of what I said (outside of complaining about the double standard). How is what I said ANY different than this signature: Link: http://www.bautforum.com/showthread.php/111231-Board-malfunction?p=1837736#post1837736

BAUT was having severe database issues at the time and Tommac was, in his own way, trying to help. He was offering to host BAUT on his server, not recruit its members to his ATM forum.

Let me close by stating clearly that I do appreciate your science-related posts here. However, on this issue, I think you are way off base.

baric
2011-Jan-14, 06:08 AM
The rules should be consistent and applied to all members in a similar manner.

The rules, by necessity, vary based upon the subforum. The perceived intent of the poster is almost certainly taken into account as well. I have not seen a post from Tommac that approached what you did in your rant. imo, I think you should just drop it and get back to talking about science here. It's over and done and there's no point in belaboring it.

JAXAi
2011-Jan-14, 06:14 AM
The rules, by necessity, vary based upon the subforum. The perceived intent of the poster is almost certainly taken into account as well. I have not seen a post from Tommac that approached what you did in your rant. imo, I think you should just drop it and get back to talking about science here. It's over and done and there's no point in belaboring it.

baric: Are you an authority here to state the above statement with the force of the BAUTforum website? Is this the official policy of the site? So this means I can now link to my site in my signature as long as I do so along the lines of Tommac? I appreciate your answer and will act accordingly and "get back to posting about science". Thanks you sir.

Jens
2011-Jan-14, 06:22 AM
baric: Are you an authority here to state the above statement with the force of the BAUTforum website? Is this the official policy of the site? So this means I can now link to my site in my signature as long as I do so along the lines of Tommac? I appreciate your answer and will act accordingly and "get back to posting about science". Thanks you sir.

Why not try asking the moderator who gave you the banning? Or maybe wait a bit, and see what they say. Just make it clear that you're really interested in whether you can use that link. I don't know the situation with Tommac, but I'm fairly sure that he is considered an occasional annoyance by at least some of the mods, and they allow him to have those, so I assume he has talked about it with them and gotten permission. I really think that with some patience you'll be able to work this out.

JAXAi
2011-Jan-14, 06:34 AM
Jens: Thanks! You rock.

Moose
2011-Jan-14, 09:38 AM
First off, the proper way to request clarification on a specific suspension is through the reports feature, or through PM. There's no need to drag the rest of the board into this.

Second. The distinction between what we tolerate and what will earn you an infraction had been explained to you... in this very thread.


For members with a history of participation, we do tolerate (contrast with the word 'permit') an in-signature link of a personal site or blog, if it is strictly non-commercial, subtle, and otherwise complies with the rules. We generally allow linking to and/or quoting content from one's own site, if (and considerable stress on the 'if') the content provided is the purpose of the post. If it becomes apparent that the purpose of the post/link/quote is to expose/promote the site itself, we treat it like promotion. A site that carries ads or solicits donations, even passively, is considered "commercial" for the purposes of that rule.

When in doubt, ask first.

You've already shown, twice now, that you desire to promote your site. And so I strongly suggest you ask first from here on out (and expect a 'no'), or forgo the link entirely. You have already used up the entirety what little tolerance we grant on this rule.

tusenfem
2011-Jan-14, 09:38 AM
baric: Are you an authority here to state the above statement with the force of the BAUTforum website? Is this the official policy of the site? So this means I can now link to my site in my signature as long as I do so along the lines of Tommac? I appreciate your answer and will act accordingly and "get back to posting about science". Thanks you sir.


baric is not the official spokesperson for BAUT rules.
Furtermore, I think that the other mods have, at length, explained the rules above.

Discussion closed until moderator conference sealed to the flame has ended.