Moderator double standard?

I was going to post this in the thread in question, but it timed out and upon further reflection, this prolly belongs here in the pit, so that’s where I’m putting it.

Let me see if I have this straight:

A poster posts a thread about something that interests her, specifically disavowing any posibility of gaining financially from doing so, although interested people can get paid if they are interested in the program.

The moderators decide collectively that since it is conceviable that someone could turn a few cartweels and leap through a hoop or two and by so doing could cause the OP to gain financially, that this is against the board rules, even though the OP specifically said that she was NOT looking for financial gain from this.

Seems to me that someone is reaching here, and it ain’t opalcat. I also, knowing the history of the poster involved and the bias against her displayed by mods in the past, have to question how much of this is motivated by personal dislike amongst the moderators for the OP. Would y’all have reacted the same if, say, Fenris had posted this thread? I think not.

My email is in my profile. Anyone could get it and send me an email asking for my address because they wanted to send me a check ( and FTR, such emails are welcome :wink: ), does that mean that I am responsible for their actions? Another much loved poster was recently the recipient of thousands of dollars donated by members of their own free will. That’s “financial gain”, no mater how you slice it, and the effort was organized on these boards. Now, I am not oposing that circumstance, I wholeheartedly support it, but why the double standard?

Taken at face value I am having a difficult time understanding why the Mods chose to delete and lock. That being said, mention is made of previous posting of spam. I have not read those threads and don’t know the merits of that claim.

If it is true that Opal has posted spam to the boards in the past then I am in whole hearted support of the Mods. The last thing we need is spam posters on the boards. Any post hinting of commercial gain by a poster who had previously disemminated spam should be nipped in the proverbial bud.

That being said, to make a fair judgement I think a link to previous alleged spamming OPs should be provided.

They’re all jealous, cause Opal is skinny now. Go girl.

Previously (IIRC), she had made references to T-shirts and other things available through her website, and was admonished by mods for it.

I mean, people talk about their professions on this board all the time - and quite possibly, someone could E-mail them or visit their webpage and end up giving them money. I won’t name names lest I get anyone in trouble, but it’s certainly not attempting to use the SDMB as free advertising.

I can see the concern given the past history of issues over her promotion (intentional or not) of some of her merchandise through the SDMB, but this is pretty marginal I think.

Trust me, there have been loads and loads of warnings. In my heart, I don’t think that Opal is trying to profit off of the SDMB, it’s more like carelessness. If you check out Opal’s web page, and I recommend that you do, you’ll see that she’s into all kinds of things. For example, she designs bumper stickers and T-shirt art. If she makes a side mention about a new design or something it’s taken as spam. Rules are technically being broken and the Mods are sticking to them because, as UB said in his warning, others in the future could make the argument that they should be allowed the same leeway.

There have been lots of thread like this one in the Pit and they’re never pretty. Here we go again.


What double-standard are you speaking of Dave? The one where we’ve cut Opal a helluva lotta slack about shit this? Slack that we certainly don’t give to people who sign up and make a single Spammish post. We ban those fuckers immediately.

Bullshit. Opal’s been treated with kid gloves in comparison. Hell, anything we mods/admins do regarding warnings and such to Opal have to be run through Ed and that’s the procedure we followed in this instance. Opal has also been made aware of this policy. It’s most certainly not something we do with other posters.

You’re barking up the wrong tree here and speaking without full information. But hey, you wanna start a fight, you’re free to try.

Well, being a mod/admin on anther forum, let me put my thoughts in. First off, there was the golden rule. Those with the gold, make the rules. Second, there is lots that goes on, usually in the staff area, that you don’t know about, nor is it usually your business to know about. A mod is usually put in the position of a mod because they’ve either worked their butts off, or are seen as responsible posters. So when they do something, it’s not usually because they want the board to go down. There are also things modded and deleted that you don’t know about, and to IM everyone to inform them why is a lot of work, and a quick read of the rules usually explains it.

And if all else fails, and someone doesn’t like the way I admin the site, they are always welcome to leave. I wouldn’t come over to their house and expect to do anything I wanted, and I don’t expect them to desire to do the same. And honestly, it doesn’t matter how much you defend what you do, someone always gets offended. I deleted a goatse picture or something that was really gross, and people got mad at me for not IM’ing them first.

That’s my little rant, as I kinda get tired of the whinning when people really have no idea the amount of crap mods/admins go through. Glad I’m not a mod here.

And I’ll also make the observation that you in all likelihood didn’t look at the registration process. I did. In order to sign up you have to have a referral - someone’s name, or their PIN. Entering either of these, and completing the call(s) credits the referrant’s account. The only way, as we understood the process, a referrant would not make money is if they had opted out—agreed to make the calls without compensation. And since Opal said, “I’m not making any extra money by telling you guys,” that seemed unlikely.

But Weirddave, in her LJ entry on the same topic she said she gets paid for every person she refers, plus extra if a guy signs up. I thought it was interesting and started to sign up, but noticed that the site wasn’t secured and wasn’t comfy with the SS thing. Since I was entering Opal’s pin anyway, I didn’t notice if there was an option to not enter someone’s pin (and I didn’t save the URL, so I can’t go check). Is there a possibility that maybe the mods checked the site and were concerned that there wasn’t such an option?

Normally I’d agree with you, but I’m just not quite sure this time 'round. Guess that’s not very helpful, is it?

Perhaps I just should’ve previewed and read UncleBeer’s entry. ::sigh::

I don’t see Opal being singled out for this at all.

I’m happy there’s Zero Tolerance for spam around here, and think that the locked post is close enough to the sort of thing that could open the door for spamming behaviour. I don’t think that Opal was hoping to gain by her OP, but sure, the possibility was there. More importantly, the thread didn’t really serve a purpose other than making people aware of a commercialish type thing.

If Opal were being treated differently than anyone else, her bubble wrap thread would have been edited and locked, too. After all, it only takes two clicks to buy stuff from her. It was allowed to stay though, because the main point of the OP was the virtual bubblewrap flash thingie, which was a lot of fun.

It seems to me that the policy seems focused more on looking at whether a specific post brings anything of value to the board, rather than merely if there’s a possibility of it leading to personal gain.

Works for me.

I am only involving myself to the extent that I was mentioned as an example of someone who gets away with stuff because the Mods allegedly have a double standard. I’m not interested in getting involved in the Opal/SDMB conflict.

From my experience, I believe they would have reacted the same way towards me or any other poster, given the same circumstances. The Mods/Admins seem remarkably even handed.

In any case, it’s not an apples to apples comparison. A (IMO) better comparison would be to note that Wildest Bill* was warned multiple times for posting Pit Threads in GQ. Towards the end, he was given some fairly harsh warnings of a similar nature to what Opal got. I suspect that if one of us slipped up and posted something Pittish or GD-ish in GQ, Manny might slap us a little, but we wouldn’t get the double-barreled treatment that WB got.

I can also state that I have been told in no uncertain terms to knock it off more than once when I’ve posted something that violated Board rules or policies. I’ve no doubt that if the SDMB were to perceive that I (or any other poster) was repeatedly breaking the same rule I’d get a similar reaction.


*I am emphatically NOT comparing Opal to Wildest Bill. NOT NOT NOT. Not in any way. Wildest Bill was a remarkably stupid troll and Opal is neither stupid or trollish at all. I am only comparing the situations of two people who broke (or were perceived to have broken) the same rule repeatedly.

Withdrawing my objection then if, as UB said is true, you have to have someone else’s PIN and/or name to sign up. By the time I saw the thread the link was deleted, and I didn’t go to her website to check there.

I woulda leaned HARD on that smirking, limerick-writing S.O.B., toot sweet.


Why does she get special treatment?

Not that I’m complaining, just interested.

A fact of which I was not aware, and one that does change my opinion a bit. I was basing my question about double standards upon the information in the linked OP, in which Opal says basically “Hey, this is neat, y’all might want to try it” and that she wasn’t making any money by doing bringing it to everybody’s attention. The way UB explained the mods reaction, I was under the impression that she could make money if an interested party made a real effort to contact her, get her PIN number and use her as a referal.

Obviously if a referal is required, people who went there from here are naturally going to put “opalcat” down, which changes the situation entirely.

I withdraw my question and apreciate the more complete explanation that you have posted.

And Fenris, I swear, I simply pulled your name outta my ass as a long time, well know poster. It could have been anybody, nothing was implied by chosing you. I’m sorry if it seemed I was saying YOU were treated differently than anyone else by the staff, I was not.

Opal has in the past successfully attempted to indicate that she runs businesses online (the t-shirt thread, which I don’t recall if she started or not, certainly had her post in it. IIRC it was locked. I don’t remember seeing if it was deleted or not).

There are a few instances I can think of where people have posted about various books they had written, but their language at the time (ianzin, Eve, Cal Meacham being the main 3 I can remember) seemed to indicate that they believed that outright using the SDMB to say “I have books out! Buy them!” was unethical inasmuch as the SDMB is not run as a free advertisement board. A poster named googleanswers was chastised by Coldfire once a good number of months back for answering a question about a pay-for-use service on Google, again I presume for the same reason Opal was chastised for advertising her business(es).

When I have seen Eve et al. post about their books, it has been the title of the book (others have linked to them on Amazon) or a brief description only, and I have yet to see any official Moderator Note on the allowing or disallowing of that. With the number of times I have seen it, I am tempted to say that the mods/admins do not take issue with their manner of advertisement. I have yet to see ianzin post even the title, preferring email correspondence. CalMeacham has posted the title of his book before (others have linked directly to it on Amazon).

Inasmuch as Opal directly and financially benefits (if I am correctly interpreting posts by UncleBeer and bobkitty) from any referrals, I believe it has been the stated position of the Chicago Reader to disallow free marketing/advertising, especially as this board is already run at a loss to ChiReader. My guess would be that the difference between Eve/ianzin/Cal Meacham is that they mention they have a book but they don’t link to them, don’t talk about them much (others do that instead) and have not been told not to advertise their businesses on the SDMB (to my knowledge, whereas IIRC Opal has been told that very thing at least once). All that matters in the end, of course, is what the mod/admin consensus is.

Aslan (and others), Opal’s board is often used as a safe haven by Dopers when the SDMB goes down. May of us have “dual citizenship.”

So maybe that’s why they cut her some slack.

Still, rules is rules.

I’ve been both thanked and asked to help by Admin/Mods concerning some things, yet (because I can’t stay civil in a debate to save my life) I have been repeatedly “admonished” by more than one Mod. Hell, for a while, I just figured that a couple of them didn’t like me.

But, what with 30,000 some odd (some very odd) Dopers here, they really don’t have time to regularly make friends and enemies. They are running a private message board. That’s all. They enforce and interpret their rules. It’s the Dope’s right to do so.

No harm, no foul, WeirdDave. I just wanted to go on the record with my perceptions, just in case.

And if someone must be pulled from a Doper’s ass* I’m flattered that I was pulled from yours!

…um… < cough >So to speak. :wink:

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