Home > rfd > Commentary and Questions Regarding Inconsistent Application of Forum Rules on RFD

Commentary and Questions Regarding Inconsistent Application of Forum Rules on RFD

This message is directed to oranr and the RFD Administration. I made this post to obtain clarification on forum rules that I believe have been applied in an inconsistent and nonsensical manner. I also made it because I think we need an intelligent commentary instead of apparently fake non-decisions, and because silence means consent. This post is cross-posted from the RFD Forums.

I have chosen to post rather than send a Private Message because the locking or deletion of this kind of thread would answer some questions and be, in itself, very telling.

Background:

Up until two days ago, my forum signature contained two (2) links:

  • A link to my blog
  • A link to third party real-time chat site, which has an affiliated outside forum created by an RFD member – I’m sure you know it well. (link added on my blog only: TinyChat)

Two days ago, I received the following message:

(…) Please be advised the following action has occurred to your signature.  As the title reads, I have removed the external link to the chat room. As you there are advertisements in the chat room, it is no longer allowed to be linked too. It is self promotion/advertising and this is against policy. It can not be put back into your signature. If you do put the external link back into your signature, you will lose all signature privileges. (…)

The issue:

Oranr, your justification is complete nonsense.

Period.

The justification for deleting a link because “there are advertisements in the chat room” is highly illogical. This is true because:

  • RFD’s Forums contain countless of posts with links to outside sites with banner ads. These sites promote themselves or other products and services for financial gain. If you did not permit linking to sites with advertisements, you would have deleted all of these posts. (Examples: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20 )
  • Nobody on RFD makes money from the chat room I had linked.
  • Nobody on RFD makes money from the chat room’s affiliated forum – banner ad revenues were disabled months ago (verified with forum owner).
  • If RFD was bothered by external banners, you would have deleted the link to my blog many years ago, yet you actively chose to not do so when you edited my sig, implicitly showing that some advertisements in linked sites are OK, and that you don’t see a link to my blog an RFD rule violation. (Note: I do not and have never made financial gain from my blog.)

Perhaps you could clarify RFD’s position on linking to sites containing banners if you could please answer the following questions:

1. Does linking to a site not affiliated with anyone on RFD, which has revenue-generating banner ads, qualify as self-promotion / advertising? (i.e. Reddit, Google, ArsTechnica, Facebook, Engadget, HardForum, Youtube, Globe & Mail)

2. Does linking to a site affiliated with someone from RFD, which is non-commercial and without banner ads, qualify as self-promotion / advertising? (i.e. Flickr, Instagram, personal Twitter, personal hobby website)

3. If the answers to both of the previous are YES, then what is wrong with an RFD user’s non-commercial site, where the service provider adds banners and keeps the revenue for themselves? Am I missing something here? Doesn’t my blog, which you, oranr, have ACTIVELY chosen to allow in my forum signature, fit this exact description?

4. Are you afraid that the outside forum affiliated with the Chat Room will pull some of RFD’s audience away? I think you should be thankful for this kind of thing because it acts as a catch-all for the kind of conduct that seems to be deleted from RFD these days. RFD actually benefits from having Off-Topic conversations channelled elsewhere. Furthermore, the greater the audience, the more off-topic chatter will be directed offsite. (Note: A general decline in the quality of deals posted on RFD is now inevitable, with many users gradually drifting to other competitor deal forums. I am planning a separate blog post on this topic.)

5. Do you think that RFD members are making affiliate revenues or other benefits from the chatroom or affiliated forum? As mentioned earlier, neither case is true. (OK, well there is a “little” secret. In all fairness, I should let you know – we’ve had some awesome Unofficial RFD meetups at restaurants, bubble tea, bowling, coffee, karaoke, ramen, pho, go karts, board games, and are planning an awesome Toronto beach fun day. Please do let me know if deriving this kind of benefit from signatures or links qualifies as “self promotion.” If that’s the case, I guess I’ll have to acquiesce to your point.)

Reminder: Nowhere in this post have I asked for the chat room link to be reinstated.

I hope you realise that this post contains advice made in hopes of helping you run RFD more smoothly.

Oranr, I do not think you are stupid.

What is the real issue here? You aren’t stupid enough to actually believe your own excuses. Are you trying to marginalize that particular chat site because some of the people who use it get their posts deleted on RFD? If that is the case, then you should say what you mean and face the real issues instead of making childish pretend-excuses. As Judge Judy said, “Don’t pee on my leg and tell me it’s raining.” It leads to the loss of others’ respect.

I should also remind you: Great leaders in community and business know that “Conflict is a dish best served fresh.” If you pussy-foot around the real issues and make fake excuses, you fail to truly resolve issues. Conflict starts to grow mould and becomes really stinky, creating a putrid and conflicted air in the community. That’s what’s beginning to happen on RFD. It creates more drama and wastes everyone’s time, turning off some users permanently from the community. This kind of action just causes you to lose respect from other senior members of the forum who aren’t habitual offenders, and who actually come in making helpful threads, posting deals, etc.

This means that users who keep breaking the rules — the REAL rules, i.e. not something your imagination cooked up, which conveniently fit the situation — should be banned from RFD instead of you making up silly non-arguments for removing links. Oranr / RFD, please serve this community by clarifying your position; Stop making fake excuses and take care of business.

* * *

The follow-up article is here: Comments On RedFlagDeals.com’s Direction and Eventual Decline

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