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Andrew S
Posts: 334
Joined: Sat Jan 30, 2021 8:53 pm
Location: Sydney, Australia

Sat Dec 25, 2021 4:29 pm

Thanks for your response (and for moving my comment somewhere more appropriate).

I suppose that it depends upon whether people here (that is, the admins, guided by what ordinary members think) prefer to have a 'free market of ideas' approach or a 'safe space' approach.

Obviously, the former involves less regulation, more risk, and requires each forum member or visitor to make up their own mind with due diligence and to take the risk of deceit upon themselves, whereas the latter would require more active intervention by those who control the forum (whether through their discretion, through specific rules, or both), more risk of shutting out an innocent vendor accidentally, and more risk that the forum generally or its admins specifically would be 'blamed' by someone who was in fact deceived by a vendor.

Thankfully, no one is suggesting the approach of simply banning the sale or marketing of products altogether on the forum.

My own view is that, in large measure, and in general, this forum feels like more of a community of like-minded individuals and less like the kind of free-for-all that exists elsewhere on the internet. The vendor part of the forum is somewhat different to the rest of course, being a combination of ordinary advertising and self-interest with discussion by members and occasional active participation by some, but not most, vendors.

It's all rather unhelpful to talk about it in a hypothetical sense though. It works well as it is, subject to the very occasional issues which I think are best dealt with as an aspect of admin discretion (at least at the moment, while the forum is not too big).

I will let you know if I have any potentially useful ideas. Until then, I'll go back to my tea...

Andrew
User avatar
Bok
Vendor
Posts: 4958
Joined: Wed Oct 04, 2017 8:55 am
Location: Taiwan

Sat Dec 25, 2021 6:49 pm

I see it similar to the admins… as annoying as it is the current case has so far done nothing obviously malicious in public, apart from posting a lot and not responding to any serious question, which could reveal his true intentions. It’s telling how he specifically avoids to reply to Taiwan based people as they could verify any of his claims very fast.

In the background I have it on good authority that offers to sell dubious(actually fake beyond doubt)teaware for exorbitant prices have been made, we are talking several K USD. So the intention is pretty clear. But so is the one of any random Taobao seller claiming to sell quality when they don’t, just that they don’t post on our forum. Luckily.

For now the forum’s auto immune Defense system seems to work well enough as to that the cloud at least makes it obvious to the innocent reader what is going on. Those who don’t read and make their homework probably don’t deserve better anyways.
Last edited by Bok on Sat Dec 25, 2021 10:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.
faj
Posts: 665
Joined: Mon Oct 14, 2019 6:45 am
Location: Quebec

Sat Dec 25, 2021 8:57 pm

Bok wrote:
Sat Dec 25, 2021 6:49 pm
as annoying as it is the current case has so far done nothing obviously malicious in public, apart from posting a lot
Telemarketers do nothing malicious, they just call often. But now there are laws to limit that. At some point, a high volume of small annoyances triggers a response. Avoiding death by a thousand cuts and all that.

Also, what is posted on the forum is there for good, and that affects web searches, both text and images. It therefore influences who will be attracted to the forum, and why. It is easy and true to say that members can ignore content they do not like, but this does not address the potential long-term impacts of some behaviors becoming a recurring pattern.
User avatar
Balthazar
Posts: 575
Joined: Mon Apr 02, 2018 7:04 am
Location: Oslo, Norway

Mon Dec 27, 2021 4:48 am

I agree with @Bok's post above.

I also think it would be a good idea to merge the different topics the vendor in question has made into one, so as to keep it all in one place. Especially when the topics in question are thinly veiled attempts at marketing.

Finally, I wonder if vendor members should have a higher bar for being granted access to direct messaging than "normal" members. I haven't thought this through (and don't know if it's technically difficult to implement), but perhaps a distinction could be made between vendors that haven taken part in discussions beyond their own store and goods, and vendors that are here purely to market their stuff. This would make it impossible for the second type to contact individual members and "pray on the inexperienced" through direct messaging, so to speak. Such a distinction would necessarily be arbitrary, but I think it's gonna be a pretty clear-cut case which group a vendor member belongs to 99% of the time.
faj
Posts: 665
Joined: Mon Oct 14, 2019 6:45 am
Location: Quebec

Mon Dec 27, 2021 6:26 am

Balthazar wrote:
Mon Dec 27, 2021 4:48 am
Finally, I wonder if vendor members should have a higher bar for being granted access to direct messaging than "normal" members.
Here is another idea along the same line of thought: a vendor is allowed to send DM to a member only if that member has sent a DM to that vendor in the last 15 or 30 days or if the member has added the vendor to their friends list. In other words, vendors that are not listed as friends of a member can only participate in DM conversations initiated by the member. That might require an exception for vendor-to-vendor direct messaging, I suppose.
User avatar
Victoria
Admin
Posts: 2748
Joined: Sat Sep 30, 2017 3:33 pm
Location: Santa Monica, CA
Contact:

Mon Dec 27, 2021 10:27 am

There are ways admin can restrict active members ability to post and DM other members. We have done this on occasion in the past with members who didn’t understand forum rules, and or just posted too many redundant empty new threads. If any TeaForum members have been contacted directly by a vendor via DM with solicitations requesting outrageous prices or otherwise -that would be breaking forum rules. Vendors are required to;
Vendor members should avoid (self-)promotion outside of the Community > Tea/Teaware Vendors forum area.
One topic per vendor, please. This is to keep vendor offerings and announcements centralized and to reduce clutter.
Anyone who has been DM’d with an unsolicited request from a vendor, can you let us know, so we can take appropriate action. Thanks.
User avatar
Baisao
Posts: 1023
Joined: Mon Dec 11, 2017 5:17 pm

Mon Dec 27, 2021 11:08 am

@Victoria— I just DMd the person who told me they were solicited by this vendor.
User avatar
Victoria
Admin
Posts: 2748
Joined: Sat Sep 30, 2017 3:33 pm
Location: Santa Monica, CA
Contact:

Mon Dec 27, 2021 11:22 am

Baisao wrote:
Mon Dec 27, 2021 11:08 am
Victoria— I just DMd the person who told me they were solicited by this vendor.
Thank you.
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