Got called a spammer this morning

[digg=http://digg.com/playable_web_games/Got_called_a_spammer_this_morning/]
*chuckle* Gotta love this:
I’ve been playing RuneScape for the past few days and spending time over at Sal’s Runescape forum. I had a question about carrying gold and asked it. During the discussion, I thanked the responders for their responses trying to be polite.
Imagine my surprise when I get a note from a moderator over there stating that I had spammed. His reasoning was that if a post does not add to the content of the discussion, it would automattically be considered spam.
While I agree with that rule, can understand it and fully support it, please note that my thanking folks for their time is considered spam. That means politeness is spammy. Whoa!
I also disagree with that I didn’t add to the content of the discussion. My thanking folks acknowledged that I read the discussion and thanked them for their time. I had been told by another moderator that we should always stated that we had our questions answered and that’s what I did.
So I’m an evil spammer. I guess I should go hang my head in shame. Mind you that the forums are filled with worse issues that are being ignored.
Bloodly hell.

18 thoughts on “Got called a spammer this morning

  1. I PM’d you at Sal’s. I realized from something you posted that you might not come back, so I wanted you to at least stop in to read my PM. 🙂

  2. Some forums are like being in High School where the popular crowd do what they want and if you aren’t with the ‘in crowd’ you get called names and treated badly.
    Sorry to see you were treated unfairly. Are you still a member of that forum?

  3. (1) A thank you, in essence, is both an expression of gratitude for service rendered and a polite indication that the conversation has come to an end.
    (2) If one does not offer thanks when their question has been answered then others will continue to invest time and energy in trying to answer it.
    (3) Thanking those who have helped us is a constructive act that lays the foundation for polite and amiable future communications.

  4. In response to this comment:
    “Some forums are like being in High School where the popular crowd do what they want and if you aren’t with the ‘in crowd’ you get called names and treated badly. ”
    I think most forums have people who have the high school mentality, Sal’s included. But the moderating staff at Sal’s is not at all like that. Flaming and other disrespect is not tolerated. Because of the overall youngness of the members, spamming is also a problem. While I don’t think Dr. Mike should have been scolded for his post, the moderating staff tries to stem off spamming before it gets out of control and maybe that was the case.
    I am not an official spokesperson of Sal’s, I’m just speaking from my 2+ years of experiences there.

  5. Two questions arise.
    (1) What is forum spamming?
    (2) Who is in the position to make that judgment call.
    When someone asks a question they initiate communication. After answers are tendered the questioner says “thank you” as an expression of gratitude for service rendered and terminates the communication.
    In that situation “forum spam” would be any unsolicited communication that does not constructively address the subject matter by attempting to provide an answer to the question posed.
    The questioner makes the call with regard to which replies are helpful and when to terminate the communication.
    In this scenario the Moderator’s role does not come into play unless and until an unsolicited off topic or rude and vexatious comment is made.
    When no unsolicited off topic or rude and vexatious comment is made, a Moderator who interferes in the natural process is clearly out-of-bounds as there is nothing to “moderate”.
    IMO the forum conversation drmike draws our attention to did not call for moderation of any kind. The Moderator who sent him the private message was out-of-bounds.

  6. 123man, for some reason, I can’t send you a PM over there. Thank you for your understanding.
    I actually made a complaint about the issue and one of the board’s admin labeled it as spam as well. *shrug* There are other Runescape forums and help guides out there.
    There was no intent to spam and, since the point got raised, I could care less about my post count. (If I was really worried about post counts, don’t you think I would have raised the issue over at wp.com by now?)
    What bothers me about this whole issue is that I was trying to be polite. What those folks are telling me that if someone goes out of their way to be polite and publicly thank someone for their time, it’s an “evil” (I can’t think of a better word) act and should be beat down.
    A quick look through those forums show that how degraded they are. There are few adults there. I would think a small bit of manners and mature acting discussion would be warrented and welcomed. Guess not…

  7. If you want membership simply send your username and pass to sarah_janeiscool00@yahoo.co.uk
    and I will personally pay for membership for you as I am rich. I will also trade, from my lvl 96 member account , full dragon armour for you – so only have bank pin if you dont want full dragon !!!!!
    See you as a member soon BYE !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  8. timethief, your definitions of spam, etc are not universal. RuneScape is game largely played by teens, and as a result, RuneScape forums are largely inhabited by teens as well. That means there is a group (a larger group than most forums have to deal with) of immature young people who are interested in increasing their post count because they think that’s a measure of importance. No one get’s punished for being polite, there is just a different way that it could be done (see below).
    It was explained in the thread that drmike linked to that the moderators prefer a person to edit their original thread to thank someone (or send them a PM) and if their question is completely answered, change the topic title to indicate the thread can be closed. I’ve seen plently of people who make a “thanks” post after every few posts, and that is obviously spam, imo. I don’t think drmike’s post was spam, but he also only got a verbal warn for it. Also, you may disagrree with your post being labeled as spam, but certainly no one was punishing you for being polite.
    I think this is an unfair statement and not at all true: “A quick look through those forums show that how degraded they are. There are few adults there.” Sal’s is a viable community that has been around for nearly 2.5 years and has grown steadily in that time. There are 10,000+ registered members and several thousand that are active. The moderating team works through problems and have done a good job. There are also plenty of adults and many young people with the maturity of adults.
    If you want to look elsewhere for other RuneScape forums, good luck to you. The other bigger forums I’ve looked at all seem…sterile is the best word I can come up with. Sal’s has and encourages the non-RuneScape areas of the forum too and these parts are sometimes just as busy as the RuneScape parts. That’s one reason why I feel we have a good community and not just a good RuneScape forum.

  9. I’m glad you feel that strongly about Sal’s forum. I do disagree with your statement about there being “plenty of adults” there though. I could probably gives lots of example but I’m currently swamped with support tickets and issues with daria.be. And I really need to see about making this comment box bigger. *grumble*
    I don’t feel that this was correctly done and I felt insulted. I’m not a spammer. I’m actually a webhoster, a member of CAUSE and the SPAM-L mail list. I take the issue of spam very seriously. I block over a million email spams every day with a high of 1.7 a few weeks ago. Spam and spamming personally costs me a great deal of money. You yourself stated that my previous posts were not spam. All I did was thank people who went out of their way to help me. I would be very grateful if more folks did that here in the support forums actually.

  10. @123man

    RuneScape is game largely played by teens, and as a result, RuneScape forums are largely inhabited by teens as well. That means there is a group (a larger group than most forums have to deal with) of immature young people who are interested in increasing their post count because they think that’s a measure of importance.

    The Two Sacred Cows – Adolescence and Points for Posts Forum Policy
    You seem to be offering a defense based on age that I find dubious. Teenagers are just a few years away from raising children themselves. Even before they attended nursery school most have bee well versed in the use of ‘ please’, ‘thank you’ and ‘you’re welcome’ as a matter of respect for others. Moreover, this standard for initiating and terminating conversations amicably is a standard that spans all languages and all cultures. So the ‘they’re only teens’ apologetic argument doesn’t score with me.
    Courtesy is based on respect and without it no ‘community’ is ever created on an online forum or anywhere else in the world. All that can exist in it’s absence is a milling mass of self serving teens, who are not acquiring or honing the skills they will need to employ as adults in their homes, at work and in their social lives.
    Now I will address the second sacred cow and that’s the compeitive ‘points for posts policy’ itself.
    We can all immediately point to two glaring disadvantages of “points for posts policy” on forums.
    (1) Sanctioning forum competitiveness through establishing and maintaining such a policy opens the door to gaming the forum to earn points.
    (2) It also leads to a need for an increased vigilance and functioning on the part of Moderators that would not be the case if the policy did not exist.
    Presumably “points for posts policy” serves some greater good for the forum community as a whole. Well, what is it?

  11. No, I don’t think that is spam at all.
    I think a pretty good way to describe it is that it’s a cultural thing. Because there is a post count at Sal’s (maybe there shouldn’t be…but that’s a different discussion!) people sometimes try to abuse it. The example above was just making a post where the user got nothing else out of it, i.e. he obviously wasn’t posting for any other reason but to be polite and say “thanks”. And even though that was your intention too (with the post in question at Sal’s), the culture there asks that you do it in a different way. I feel bad that you were offended by it, when I really think it’s a case of being in a different place with different expectations. Like visiting another country. So spam at Sal’s has a slightly wider definition than just the standardly accepted one.
    As for the “adults” – What I’m more concerned with in a community is that there are mature people. I’ve met many immature people in real life and have been shocked with the maturity level of some of the youngest members of Sal’s. I also really enjoy and have learned a lot from the non-American folks there.
    I didn’t think you were picking on me…I have a pretty think skin, at least online. 🙂

  12. timethief – you left off this part of what I said:
    “No one get’s punished for being polite, there is just a different way that it could be done ” So I don’t see how the value of politeness and courtesy even matter, since Sal’s does, in no way, punish someone for being polite. So taking that out, what part of my defense based on age do you find dubious? A lot of teens will have the mentality of “I need to be popular so people like me.” Agree? That attitude leads to those teens, when on a forum, trying to find ways to make them look popular – in this case, making spammy (Sal’s definition of spam, not yours) posts.
    As for “points for posts” – It could be argued that the greater good is that it shows, to some degree, the activeness of the user. This coupled with the date the user join shows how many posts per day the user made which is another, again, to a degree, show of activeness. I’ve seen it done this way at a number of forums I’ve visited. The obvious problem that can occur is the contest that you mentioned – users trying to find ways to increase their post count. Yes, extra moderation is needed at times. It’s certainly not a cut and dry issue and Sal’s has decided to do it this way.
    I feel most strongly about the point I made in my last comment here, about a cultural difference, and I feel it’s more relevant to the event that started this whole thing too.

  13. I got “dinged” with a demerit by a staff member over there as well. If you rack up I believe a total of 7, you get banned.
    Or at least that’s what I’m seeing. I haven’t logged back in during the last few days and I’ll probably not going to.

  14. Snarl!
    You did not spam.
    No moderation was required.
    And now you have been given a demerit due to the wrong call of an zealous and immoderate Moderator.
    That tears it! I’m joining and giving the members of this “green teen” ghetto a ride they will never forget.
    The pink witch rides!

  15. Being polite has in my books never been spam, perhaps it was a new moderator wanting to demonstrate his power.
    I have seen new moderators in runehq forum move posts to different forums because of the heading and not taking into consideration the content.
    As has been pointed out already a lot of moderators are very young and the power to do things that affect others can sometimes cloud their judgment.
    There are many Runescape Player Moderators who should never be mods and these are weeded out quickly with the quality of their reports, this does not happen so readily on Runescape forums.
    Personally I would only want the rule to be 1 “ding” for a ban as I would no longer be using that forum after anyway.
    I am not sure if it is the sign of a good forum banning the polite members.

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