Robert Gentel
 
  5  
Reply Mon 5 Jul, 2010 12:05 am
salima, mark noble and sometimes sun have been spamming fools almost ever since they got here and have sent out hundreds of these PM invites to the mailing list for the future forum. With close to 1000 of the exact same PMs sent just by one of you I'm starting to rethink that offer to help you guys at all, have some shame for crying out loud.
Butrflynet
 
  1  
Reply Mon 5 Jul, 2010 12:14 am
@Robert Gentel,
Send them the bill for the cost of the extra bandwidth.
Robert Gentel
 
  1  
Reply Mon 5 Jul, 2010 12:24 am
@Butrflynet,
Silver lining is that obsessive spammers don't tend to only obsess about spam and I'll just take our significant signal-to-noise ratio improvement and call it even. We get to keep some of the saner ones.
0 Replies
 
hawkeye10
 
  -1  
Reply Mon 5 Jul, 2010 12:25 am
@Butrflynet,
But do it outside of a2k, once people get the idea that private is not private if Robert decides it is not a2k is fucked.

Reading PM's is already on shaky ground, publicizing them is over the line for sure.

Note: I almost never PM, it is the principle of trust that matters.
Butrflynet
 
  5  
Reply Mon 5 Jul, 2010 12:32 am
@hawkeye10,
You're making a whole lot of false assumptions there, Hawkeye.

Robert was a member of the original PhilForum long before they were merged here. He already said he's been receiving some of the PM spam addressed to him.
0 Replies
 
Robert Gentel
 
  3  
Reply Mon 5 Jul, 2010 12:41 am
Quote:
On Mon, Jul 5, 2010 at 12:16 AM, Robert Gentel <EMAIL REMOVED> wrote:
When your site is ready, send me the link and I'll post it on the
forum myself. Stop spamming us. Your goons have mass spammed a bunch
of a2k members as well. I bear you guys no ill-will and don't want any
forum conflicts, please tell them to stop. When you are ready I'll
share the link myself, but I ask that you guys stop recruiting on a2k.

Robert


Quote:
On Mon, Jul 5, 2010 at 12:26 AM, John A. <EMAIL REMOVED> wrote:
Hey Robert! Great to hear from you, it looks like your forum is going very well! Suffice to say, a lot of things have happened over the past few weeks. I suppose it may not be a secret anymore, but yes, there is another philosophy forum/website/etc. in the works. It has been in the works for a while now and is almost ready to go online. I have to say it’s very exciting time and I think all of the members who wished to make a move to the new forum will be very pleased with the results. I have to say though, there was not an either/or ultimatum in any of the messages sent to anyone (at least by me). The members who were contacted are not forced to go from one forum to another the way the philforum community was dumped into able2know, but were simply given a choice as to another alternate place to share their views. Simply… some people can multitask and share on more than one forum and I for one intend to leave members that basic right even if you do not support it. No harm was intended towards you or your community, only the possibility of choice and the opportunity of more than one outlet to let their voices be heard.



In the time that philosophy forum was dismantled and assimilated into able2know, I have to say I have seen a true and beautiful spirit in the old community made manifest in these difficult times. I honestly took that spirit for granted while on the old forum, but now with the great outpouring of support and encouragement from many of the members, I have spared no expense to make sure these members have a home they can truly call their own and, more importantly, expect to be there waiting for them the next day they log on.



The “goons” you label with little evident civility are in fact very deeply committed members of a tight knit community that were violently uprooted from a place of philosophical refuge and carelessly injected into a generic forum etcetera site. I would also like to correct you in the respect that these members are not “my” goons but exceptional people all over the world with a love of philosophy and community who took it upon themselves to bring together the remnants of a fractured community. To many of those people, philosophy forum was more than a place to just “insert comment A” and “receive comment B,” but an intricate framework of friendships and collections of hard work that meant quite a lot to everyone involved. Is it so surprising that a reaction such as this would be the result of such a traumatic action? I might take offense at the fact that you have read private messages meant for other people (negating the meaning of the word private and seriously calling into question matters of privacy on your site which I can assure you will not be done on my site), called them “stupid simpletons” because after all, that is what “goon” etymologically means, and banning people for alternative congress, but I bear you no ill will either in the spirit in which you share that feeling with me. Which I do find amusing though because if you did bear no ill will, there would be no banning’s now, would there?



As to not recruiting on able2know, how on earth could I do that if I were banned (hilariously until 2020)? You actually give me far more credit than I deserve since many members have taken personal initiative in these matters. Simply… these “goons” have brains of their own and use them quite adeptly. You have, for all intents and purposes, rid yourself of at least one person who was not satisfied with your services, but who is to say that others are not dissatisfied as well? Are they not allowed to feel that dissatisfaction and seek better pastures? Suffice to say, if many members (including the so called goons) find themselves dissatisfied with what your site has to offer, they are fully within their rights to go elsewhere. And instead of having them walk away for good, all I am doing is giving them another place to walk to.



As to sending you the link to the new site, I’m actually all set on my end, but thank you for the offer. I have made deals with other philosophy forums for rss feeds that link to my site anyway, and the community project I have in the works is going to take a while to build together in any case, so a smaller/closer community may be better for the time being. In fact, even if a get a handful of members who find what was taken from them, it will have been worth every penny. I do what I do for them, not for any type of personal gain.



I am sorry if any of this comes off as disrespectful or ungrateful, believe me it is not intended and your contributions to the community in terms of actually facilitating the site are deeply appreciated. But was it wise to call those members who, from the latest email list fellow members have complied number in the hundreds, goons? You don’t think they would get offended at that personal attack when they caught wind of that sentiment… especially from the owner of the forum they contribute on? I don’t think that the response you sent me was very well thought out, especially in regards to the “goons” accusation. Personally, I think they deserve an apology. I know that if I were once part of a forum and the administrator was harassing ex-members (which I am) via email addresses not officially supplied except by personal correspondence not intended for the person by which they then use said email and then labeling their fellow friends in vulgar terms, I would be a little upset.





Quote:
On Mon, Jul 5, 2010 at 12:43 AM, Robert Gentel <EMAIL REMOVED> wrote:
John,

CC: A2K: http://able2know.org/topic/152716-24#post-4269262

I know you are excited about your project, but when your forum is going strong (I certainly hope it will) you will understand my sentiments. They spammed hundreds of members, philforum or not, interested or not for days. I wouldn't do this to you, and it was an underhanded thing to do (your litmus test for this is how you don't want it done to you), that is doubly so in that it was so wholly unnecessary (I was perfectly willing to help you right up until the moment that I saw just how many those few had spammed).

In any case, good luck with your site. I wish you guys well and for the record I do not force members to choose one or the other, only you and the others involved in spamming have been banned.

Robert
0 Replies
 
msolga
 
  9  
Reply Mon 5 Jul, 2010 12:45 am
@hawkeye10,
I would like to go on record as endorsing, as strongly as possible, our long-standing policy & practice of the rejection of spamming in any shape or form on this site. Whether it be for promotional or for any other purpose. Spamming of the PM facility is an abuse of the intended purpose of the function, which is a private message between one individual member and another.
0 Replies
 
Robert Gentel
 
  5  
Reply Mon 5 Jul, 2010 12:46 am
@hawkeye10,
hawkeye10 wrote:
Reading PM's is already on shaky ground, publicizing them is over the line for sure.


I read PMs that were forwarded to me. If I read people's PMs I would have caught this weeks ago, they could only send 10 per hour and sent hundreds. Those couple of people have been here since day one doing this.

As for publishing them, I have my qualms about publishing private exchanges but I hadn't done so when you accused me of that, I had referred to PM spam that was reported to me. But I just did publish an email exchange between the person who orchestrated it, and I made a special exception to make his smug reply public when he played that card.

They want you by the way hawkeye (see the last line of this salima post for one example). You should probably check them out.
0 Replies
 
Robert Gentel
 
  5  
Reply Mon 5 Jul, 2010 12:57 am
I should also note that this thread was also a part of the efforts for some of them. As an example are the latest post that wanted to compile lists of usernames of people who are active on a2k.

That's also why they were earlier asking about who's online lists etc. I mention it because it's one of the reservations I have against making a single point of pm spam like a who's online list of a single member's list.
Robert Gentel
 
  6  
Reply Mon 5 Jul, 2010 01:01 am
[still ranting] These folks knew very well that they were being underhanded, the PMs forwarded to me are clear about it, some mentioning how this is a bannable offense on other forums and directing members to email and get on an offsite mailing list.

Videcorspoon (the person starting the forum, whose email is quoted above) will one day be upset when others do it to him, and hopefully realize that it was an untoward thing to do, I would have gladly helped him and there was no reason to resort to covert PM spam.

He says he only wants a handful of unsatisfied users but that's a bald lie. He instructed his friends to try to create a "brain drain" and include the a2k members they liked. He said he needs scale to provide the donations he intends to fund the site with.
0 Replies
 
Pepijn Sweep
 
  0  
Reply Mon 5 Jul, 2010 01:19 am
@Robert Gentel,
May I ask, did you read my "private" messages ? Not thât I have any doubts you have your reasons but it's like the post-man reading my mail ...

I may-be have to adapt to Forum rules. Banning seems to be popular among moderators and owners. I always thought the www was more "live-and-let-live" and used to exchange & connect people around the world. I have been banned without appeal, as an exile transferred to A2K and find out now thât Private Messages are as private as the receipes I put.

I do see your point of view, but you should understand how it feels to be pushed around like a commodity. I think it's not polite to spam, but it a minor offence in comparisson with the breach of confidence of checking private mail. I suggest you make an apology to the people concerned, all members of the A2K.

I liked the new Forum, I still like the people forming it; I just feel really un-easy about the banning and reading of private messages. Maybe I should check some legal decisions on this matter, just to know the jurisprudence. You sent me a good and sincere e-mail when we went to A2K and I respected all Forum rules, written and un-written. I saddens me things go this way.

Slightly upset & Rolling Eyes

Mr. Leonardus van den Berg LL.M, BBA
since no privacy remain I might as well sign
alias Pepijn H. Sweep
Robert Gentel
 
  2  
Reply Mon 5 Jul, 2010 01:20 am
@Pepijn Sweep,
Pepijn Sweep wrote:
May I ask, did you read my "private" messages ?


No, why? I have better things to do that read people's messages.

Edit: and why do you then suggest I apologize for something I did not do.
Robert Gentel
 
  3  
Reply Mon 5 Jul, 2010 01:22 am
Quote:
On Mon, Jul 5, 2010 at 1:11 AM, John A. <EMAIL REMOVED> wrote:
I apologize if anyone did anything that in anyway made you feel upset, etc. I rest in the assurance that I trust these people with all of my confidence and praise the initiative they took to restore the old community back to the way it was. I still wonder how any of this is underhanded when the possibility existed that they could be on both sites. I know I would want people on my site who were as diverse as possible, even if that meant they would be coming in from other sites whenever they wanted. To tell the truth, if they did stick around my site, it would be because I offered them something they could not get on another site, whether that be quality, fraternity, etc. Seems a just and economical thing to do. My litmus test involves offering two choices and picking the better option based on principles adherent to individual (relative) views. Interestingly enough though, Salima (a very devoted member of the community who was banned) was apparently deemed on one side rather than another. Who is to say she could not frequent both sites? Evidently, forcing members to choose between one or the other is a relative conception dependent on the line you choose to draw.

But no worries on my end as well, and I hope your site continues to thrive. I suppose we have a difference in philosophy. LOL!



Quote:
On Mon, Jul 5, 2010 at 1:22 AM, Robert Gentel <EMAIL REMOVED> wrote:
CC: A2K http://able2know.org/topic/152716-24#post-4269290

You are a liar. You instructed them to create the "brain drain" campaign and to try to get a2k members that you wanted as well. You like to portray yourself as a noble user trying to serve a handful of dissatisfied users but you tell them you need scale to pay the astronomical costs you are quoting them.

If you are only providing for dissatisfied users why did you instruct them to go after others and create a "brain drain" (your own verbatim words) on a2k? Why are they looking for the users active on able2know? Why not the ones who aren't active?

Your self-image is not consistent with your self-interested actions and one day your own forum will prohibit such underhanded tactics as mass PM spam. We let people post dozens of times about alternative forums, we are not at all about limiting choice like you are trying to paint the picture of your and the handful of spammers being banned as.
0 Replies
 
Razzleg
 
  10  
Reply Mon 5 Jul, 2010 01:23 am
@Robert Gentel,
I know that this is by the wayside, and not quite in the spirit of this thread, but I would like to say that I am quite enjoying my time on A2K. I received my spammed invitation to the new forum a few weeks ago, but I did not respond. I find A2K very congenial, and as effective a phil-forum as the late, absorbed example thereof. I can imagine that some of the (inexplicably dramatic) reactions by some of the late philforum contributors has been disturbing to the people that orchestrated,organized, and facilitated the transfer, but I would like to assure you that some of us do not find the transfer or the new company to be a bad thing. I'll be sticking around, and I appreciate all of the hard work you and your team have put into accommodating the reasonable requests put to you by us newcomers.
Robert Gentel
 
  5  
Reply Mon 5 Jul, 2010 01:28 am
@Robert Gentel,
To expound, I received a templated PM spam forwarded, I searched the database for that exact message (the whole message had to match exactly for the query) and it was sent to over 500 different people, philforum or not. I also checked my accounts from philforum and found Salima's spam there too.

After asking here on this thread for others to forward them to me I received the rest of the bigger picture and each time I got a spam PM forwarded to me I was able to query and delete them all en masse (which reports counts of affected rows, which is how I found out about the scale).

When I first posted tonight I thought it was just a couple of unhappy users getting PM spam, when I was done the delete counts showed just how much they had been at it.

No, I do not read your private messages (I don't even read all mine).
Robert Gentel
 
  3  
Reply Mon 5 Jul, 2010 01:32 am
@Razzleg,
Thanks Razzleg, the angst always dominates the narrative and in this case had some self-interest to help fuel it along but we gained a lot of members who will stay more quietly than they leave.
0 Replies
 
William
 
  1  
Reply Mon 5 Jul, 2010 03:11 am
Hello Robert. I do understand what you did and I think I know why you did it. I do wish you would have participated more in the old philforum. As you said Justin knew what your intentions were to merge the two. Could you not have just changed the name of that forum considering all the tools we had there and brought this forum to that one. Could that have been done? I just seems you bought it to make it yours so yours would be "bigger". That understandable in this day and age.

I do like the fact that there is no advertising here, or at least I haven't seen any. Perhaps I am just green to it all and eventually will learn my way around. What does following mean as it relates to who follows who? That, to me, is a bit confusing.

Thanks,
william

Reconstructo
 
  2  
Reply Mon 5 Jul, 2010 03:22 am
@kennethamy,
I hope you're doing well, K, and that's not some ironic stab. I will agree w/ you that "mess" is a strong term, even if I respect any forum all the more for welcoming public criticism of said forum. Personally, I've been treated well here. To be frank, I'm not fond of the visual aspect of the forum or it's non-specific focus. But those are just matters of personal taste of course.

Now as far as your anti-moderator attack goes, I completely recognize your right to an opinion. Of course. But allow me to say that at times you seemed to me like a hater of philosophy and those who practiced it. Now we obviously have and have always had different conceptions of philosophy. Fair enough. I mention this just to illustrate how subjective "hatred of philosophy" is. Perhaps there is a certain amount of unspoken or spoken agreement as to method between those communicating that make friendly disagreement possible. I know that there were many times in our many discussions where you failed to and/or simply refused to make a case. It's likely enough that we all start from axioms which are simply not defensible from a rhetorical point of view. Indeed, "proof" itself is arguably something of a superstition. Perhaps you will even agree, but probably not.

While having zero ill-will toward this forum as far as personal experience goes, I do look forward to joining a philosophy-specialized community again, especially as many that I came to consider friends will be there. If you chance to be there at some point, I hope we can either debate pleasantly, or ignore one another's almost opposite conception of philosophy.

I realize you were suspended once largely because of your comments toward me, or so it seems to me. I would like you to know that I never once complained to any moderators about this. It's not that I think there decision was wrong or even necessarily right for that matter. It's a complicated issue. Realistically, a certain amount of moderation with teeth may be necessary to steer any community toward an ideal. At some point we should have simply ignored one another. Sometimes disagreements are too fundamental to be worth debating. I'm not going to dredge up the old debates, of course. I do wish you well as my fellow human being and hope you are squeezing some joy out of our mutual friend philosophy.
0 Replies
 
Reconstructo
 
  2  
Reply Mon 5 Jul, 2010 03:26 am
@sometime sun,
Yeah, that wasn't too slick of the kid. Hopefully he'll ripen a bit at some point.
0 Replies
 
Reconstructo
 
  1  
Reply Mon 5 Jul, 2010 03:32 am
@Pepijn Sweep,
Excellent reply, Pep. Choice is good. I'm thankful that all of these forums and sub-forums exist.
Even from those who didn't offer me new philosophical viewpoints I learned anyway from interactions w/ them, friendly or vexed.
In the end, I think any forum is going to fare better if it's members are grateful to be there and share space with one another.
 

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