Changes to the infraction system as a result of the BOI going away - FaunaClassifieds
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Old 05-18-2020, 01:34 PM   #1
WebSlave
Changes to the infraction system as a result of the BOI going away

In case some people do not realize that the Board of Inquiry being removed from this site means that those types of postings are not going to be allowed anywhere on this site, please listen up. BOI STYLE POSTINGS ARE NO LONGER ALLOWED ANYWHERE ON THIS SITE. PERIOD. That means no such responses in the classifieds sections in replies to someone's ads. Any and all registered members are able to post classified ads on this site. There is NO vetting of them for authenticity before or during their membership here. It is completely up to you to do due diligence prior to your dealing with them. Your failure to do so does not then make your problem my problem.

Accordingly, I made a change to the infraction system based on my observing some people refusing to comply to requests to cease when issued infractions for posting BOI style posts. The points for this infraction have been changed as such:
  • BOI style posts are no longer permitted on this site. First strike. 2 points
  • BOI style posts are no longer permitted on this site. Second strike. 4 points
  • BOI style posts are no longer permitted on this site. Third strike. 6 points

Which means a third strike triggers an automatic 3 day ban. I am presuming that this is not an accident at this point.

Points stay active for 1 year. So continued violations will result in longer bans, as appropriate.

Sorry to have to do this, but the reasons for the BOI going away also apply to any such postings made elsewhere on this website.

And as an aside, please don't email me your problems with other persons. I cannot do anything for you. And I have no interest in taking your problems on my shoulders. I will not take your word over anyone else's in disputes. So no, I am not going to ban someone just on your say so. I am sorry that things have become a bit more difficult for people to research someone they are considering doing business with, but it is STILL up to YOU to do so. Caveat emptor is the rule here, as it should be in all transactions you consider with anyone.
 
Old 05-18-2020, 03:01 PM   #2
Socratic Monologue
Rich, could you please clarify what constitutes "BOI-style posts"? I am sincerely unclear about the boundaries, and don't want to run afoul of them. I recently got part of a post deleted that simply corrected the spelling of a user's name and linked to their user profile to ensure correct identification of them, so apparently this is a pretty strict guideline (I am at all not complaining about this; I'm just illustrating how a reasonable person might be caught off guard).

For example, are replies to ads that point out falsehoods in the ad (say, an ad that claims to be for an angolan python that includes a picture of a ball python as representing the animal for sale) "BOI-style"? (This thread seems to explicitly allow these sorts of replies: http://www.faunaclassifieds.com/foru...d.php?t=246614)

Is the pointing out of legal issues with an ad (an ad for a leatherback turtle, for example) a BOI-style post?

Is posting "Hey man, nice snake! I love the one you just sold me!" a BOI-style post? Or "Nice animal - good luck with the sale"?

It seems mentioning users by name is possibly a big part of this rule; is posting "did @faunauser breed this animal?", or "did you get this turtle from @convictedsmuggler?" a BOI-style post?

I'm not trying to stir the pot, truly. If you clarify things, though, you might have fewer headaches in the future from users who simply don't know what is permitted and what isn't.
 
Old 05-18-2020, 03:56 PM   #3
AbsoluteApril
Quote:
Originally Posted by Socratic Monologue View Post
I recently got part of a post deleted that simply corrected the spelling of a user's name and linked to their user profile to ensure correct identification of them, so apparently this is a pretty strict guideline (I am at all not complaining about this; I'm just illustrating how a reasonable person might be caught off guard).
Just to clarify in this specific instance, the other user was calling out that party as a 'bad guy', your post wasn't specifically violating the rules (hense no infraction) but because it named the member the other party made a BOI style post about, I removed both mentions.
 
Old 05-18-2020, 04:16 PM   #4
Socratic Monologue
Quote:
Originally Posted by AbsoluteApril View Post
Just to clarify in this specific instance, the other user was calling out that party as a 'bad guy', your post wasn't specifically violating the rules (hense no infraction) but because it named the member the other party made a BOI style post about, I removed both mentions.
Thanks for explaining, April -- that makes sense.
 
Old 05-18-2020, 05:43 PM   #5
WebSlave
Quote:
Originally Posted by Socratic Monologue View Post
Rich, could you please clarify what constitutes "BOI-style posts"? I am sincerely unclear about the boundaries, and don't want to run afoul of them. I recently got part of a post deleted that simply corrected the spelling of a user's name and linked to their user profile to ensure correct identification of them, so apparently this is a pretty strict guideline (I am at all not complaining about this; I'm just illustrating how a reasonable person might be caught off guard).

For example, are replies to ads that point out falsehoods in the ad (say, an ad that claims to be for an angolan python that includes a picture of a ball python as representing the animal for sale) "BOI-style"? (This thread seems to explicitly allow these sorts of replies: http://www.faunaclassifieds.com/foru...d.php?t=246614)

Is the pointing out of legal issues with an ad (an ad for a leatherback turtle, for example) a BOI-style post?

Is posting "Hey man, nice snake! I love the one you just sold me!" a BOI-style post? Or "Nice animal - good luck with the sale"?

It seems mentioning users by name is possibly a big part of this rule; is posting "did @faunauser breed this animal?", or "did you get this turtle from @convictedsmuggler?" a BOI-style post?

I'm not trying to stir the pot, truly. If you clarify things, though, you might have fewer headaches in the future from users who simply don't know what is permitted and what isn't.
John,

Necessarily, there is going to be some gray area in the enforcement of this rule change, which will have to be at the discretion of each and every moderator here.

Generally speaking, posting positive or negative things about any person or business will not be permitted. On the other hand, I don't see any need for restrictions concerning comments about an animal or merchandise someone sells, UNLESS such statements reflect on the person or business selling the item. Which, understandable, is going to be tough calls for every one involved. And it could be that I will have to eat my words later about this and rescind even this off the cuff call. How "gray" is the "gray" going to be?

Things like "nice snake" is fine. But we get into gray area pretty quickly when statements like "that animal is misidentified" are made. Because the claim of misidentification might be a reflection on the person making the ID. I can see where such statements might be helpful, so this could be a judgement call on the moderator reviewing the statements as to whether a line has been crossed concerning how such statements are being made. Quite likely such a statement might have to be judged by subsequent statements made as a result. Messy and not very satisfactory, I know, but "black and white" rules are hard to come by, it seems.

As another example, when someone says something like "Hey, that is a really well built (or piss poor) cage!" How should that be handled? Isn't that reflecting on the person or business who actually built the cage? I think for something of this nature, perhaps it will need to be considered as to whether this is even appropriate in the classifieds sections at all.

I guess a rule of thumb to keep in mind that the classifieds sections are solely FOR the sales of animals and merchandise. Any conversations that go off topic from this primary goal are not going to be encouraged, and those that have an apparent goal to discourage the transactions are going to be pretty actively discouraged. It is not that we are taking one side or another, just that we are trying to enforce changed rules that are intent on removing the BOI nature here that people have gotten used to using.

So what do you do about alleged "bad guys" selling on the site? Well, honestly, nothing beyond choosing not to deal with them yourself. I suppose you could private message someone who appears to be considering such transactions, as that would be a PRIVATE conversation between you and someone else. But push come to shove, anyone considering such transactions have to do their own due diligence, by whatever means they see fit, outside of publicly displayed activities that will violate the rules here.

Yeah, I know it is going to be harsh watching someone make what you feel is a big mistake, but that just has to be the way it is. With the loss of the Board of Inquiry here, so went just about any and every other effort we have tried to make to protect members from making such mistakes. Choices were made by the membership, so this is where we now are.

Honestly, even as we speak I am reconsidering some rules that are still in place and whether they still make any sense being enforced now. For instance, why bother with the REAL NAME requirement any longer? We can't really enforce that much anyway, so why bother? People can register and put anything they want in that profile field, and unless we have a substantial reason to question it, we don't know if it is truthful or not. So again, why bother? Why would the moderators or myself want to be bothered with it any longer?

In any event, if you have any other practical scenarios you believe you may have to deal with, I will try to answer them as best I can.

 
Old 05-18-2020, 06:06 PM   #6
snowgyre
Thanks for your reply, Rich. I would like clarification on posts that point out illegal activity, however. In the past I have replied to classifieds postings that were selling animals illegal to that state (such as snakes native to Georgia, box turtles in many eastern states, etc.). I wouldn't personally consider that a BOI-style post because it is actually a law violation, but moving forward will you still allow these posts to occur?

Also, are "In the News" type posts that discuss the true bad apples that have been caught smuggling and are currently going through the legal system considered BOI-style posts? Not naming names, but we had a serious problem here in south Georgia a couple of years ago with a certain someone intentionally releasing illegally imported animals into a neighborhood to avoid getting caught by authorities (he was caught, btw). Would these types of discussions be allowed if they're already being discussed in mainstream media?
 
Old 05-18-2020, 07:06 PM   #7
Socratic Monologue
Thanks, Rich. That helps, if only to let us know that we need to err on the side of caution, and be nice to the mods. I'm good with that.

So, even though a suggestion I was considering isn't exactly what you said here...

Quote:
Originally Posted by WebSlave View Post

So what do you do about alleged "bad guys" selling on the site? Well, honestly, nothing beyond choosing not to deal with them yourself. I suppose you could private message someone who appears to be considering such transactions, as that would be a PRIVATE conversation between you and someone else. But push come to shove, anyone considering such transactions have to do their own due diligence, by whatever means they see fit, outside of publicly displayed activities that will violate the rules here.
...it might be worth a mention. On another forum I frequent (one dealing with dart frogs) the seller-background-questions go like this: someone posts "Hey, has anyone bought anything from "John's Awesome Frogs, LLC"? How did it go?", and a mod quickly posts "PM the OP" and locks the thread. Clunky, but it works (though it is rarely used). Having those threads in an automatically-locking forum would be ideal, I think. No badmouthing on the public forums, but some people might get some info that will save them a lot of grief.

I assume you don't want anything to do with anything BOI related, but if you thought something like this might take the pressure off the mods having to ban people regularly, or might reduce the yammering over the loss of the BOI, it might be worth considering. Just a humble suggestion, and you can ignore it and not hurt my feelings.
 
Old 05-18-2020, 08:41 PM   #8
WebSlave
Quote:
Originally Posted by snowgyre View Post
Thanks for your reply, Rich. I would like clarification on posts that point out illegal activity, however. In the past I have replied to classifieds postings that were selling animals illegal to that state (such as snakes native to Georgia, box turtles in many eastern states, etc.). I wouldn't personally consider that a BOI-style post because it is actually a law violation, but moving forward will you still allow these posts to occur?
My belief is that the proper action would be to contact the authorities responsible for enforcing such laws and let them handle it. Fact of the matter is that they would likely not be all that keen about the evidence posted here being deleted anyway if we were to take any such action. I have stated before that we are not equipped nor inclined to be involved in law enforcement or act as an investigative agency. I have no intention of trying to be cognizant of every animal related law on the planet. Which means I also have no intention of trying to determine if any such accusation towards another person is valid or not. I could not rule out the possibility that someone might post such an accusation in a malicious manner, so the possibility exists that such posting could possibly be a problem for the poster.

So with that in mind, perhaps this can be answered with a question. Will someone, by making the claim that someone is violating the law, in any way possible be labeling such person as being potentially a bad guy?

Honestly, if you are not inclined to contact relevant authorities about the issue, perhaps it would be best to contact the seller him or her self PRIVATELY in case they are not aware of what they are doing might be illegal and let them decide on how to proceed. If they decide to treat it as a mistake on YOUR part, or otherwise just infer that you just mind your own business, then perhaps it would be best to let law enforcement take over from there. If law enforcement chooses to do nothing about it, then why should anyone else be concerned?

Of course, there could be legal issues involved that I am not aware of, but if such things come to light, I will change whatever I have to in order to comply.


Quote:
Originally Posted by snowgyre View Post
Also, are "In the News" type posts that discuss the true bad apples that have been caught smuggling and are currently going through the legal system considered BOI-style posts? Not naming names, but we had a serious problem here in south Georgia a couple of years ago with a certain someone intentionally releasing illegally imported animals into a neighborhood to avoid getting caught by authorities (he was caught, btw). Would these types of discussions be allowed if they're already being discussed in mainstream media?
Sounds like this will be one of those "gray area" things. But without a lot of deep thought on the matter, I am inclined to think that if such "news" posts are simply cut and pastes or links from current public knowledge, then the person making such posts (if without personal comments about the person mentioned) is not violating the rules here. Of course, there is the possibility that followup replies could push the thread itself in the the BOI zone and subject it to being removed. So there are no guarantees concerning which way any particular thread might go. As for resulting infractions, I would not expect the original poster to have to deal with any, but replies could possibly be subject to them. Sounds like a gray area thin ice sort of thing to me.

Oh, just to make something clear, the above does NOT include threads nor posts made on other sites that are not clear cut legitimate news style sites. For instance a thread or post about someone on a Facebook page or group does not apply in this situation.

Does that help clarify things or just make them muddier?
 
Old 05-18-2020, 08:44 PM   #9
snowgyre
It helps, thanks!
 
Old 05-18-2020, 08:49 PM   #10
WebSlave
Quote:
Originally Posted by Socratic Monologue View Post
Thanks, Rich. That helps, if only to let us know that we need to err on the side of caution, and be nice to the mods. I'm good with that.

So, even though a suggestion I was considering isn't exactly what you said here...



...it might be worth a mention. On another forum I frequent (one dealing with dart frogs) the seller-background-questions go like this: someone posts "Hey, has anyone bought anything from "John's Awesome Frogs, LLC"? How did it go?", and a mod quickly posts "PM the OP" and locks the thread. Clunky, but it works (though it is rarely used). Having those threads in an automatically-locking forum would be ideal, I think. No badmouthing on the public forums, but some people might get some info that will save them a lot of grief.

I assume you don't want anything to do with anything BOI related, but if you thought something like this might take the pressure off the mods having to ban people regularly, or might reduce the yammering over the loss of the BOI, it might be worth considering. Just a humble suggestion, and you can ignore it and not hurt my feelings.
I think the mods could handle things as they are. If things change or I see there is an error in the way I have decided to do things, then I will change as needed, when needed.

I believe the first infraction should be enough to cause most people to take note that they have made an error. Which is why it is not a more severe rap on the knuckles. Someone really does have to try in order to get banned here.

As for "yammering", actually the closing of the Board of Inquiry has pretty much been a non event for the great majority of past and current members here as far as I have seen. I still get an occasional email from someone who just discovered that the BOI is now gone. So it really is of no concern. Matter of fact, I don't think it had much of an impact for this site at all.

Thank you for the suggestion.

 

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