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Author Topic: Of scammer tags, special titles and other things  (Read 743 times)
repentance
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September 09, 2012, 11:05:45 PM
 #1

I'd like to start by stating that I have no objections to the forum actions which have been taken against Matthew. 

I would like to propose that we develop and official policy of what kind of sanctions will be taken against "scammers".

Some things to consider.

1.  At what point should a "scammer" tag be applied to people who owe members of this community money and who are clearly making no effort to ensure the money owed is paid?

2.  Should we have a separate tag which advises people to be cautious in dealing with people who owe money but who don't yet meet the benchmarks for applying the scammer tag?

3.  Should people be stripped of any special titles - especially titles like "VIP member" which imply credibility even though they are bought - while their obligations to their users are unmet?

4.  Should we disallow the promotion of other services by people who have already failed to meet their obligations in respect of one service?

I notice that people are calling for Matthew to be banned so I'll add

5.  Should we ban people to whom the scammer tag has been applied?

I believe that our current system of applying scammer tags is inadequate.  Some people in this community who have totally walked away from their obligations to pay their users are still without the scammer tag and still using this forum to promote other services.  If the scammer tag can be applied to Matthew and pirate quickly (and I'm not suggesting that it should not have been), then there is simply no excuse for it not being applied to those who operated Bitcoinica and who continue to operate Intersango.  World Bitcoin Exchange should also be wearing a scammer tag, even though Andre doesn't seek to promote his new (non-Bitcoin) ventures here.

I'm sure other people have examples of services/people who should be given the scammer tag now that we've apparently abandoned the old model for applying it.


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finkleshnorts
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September 09, 2012, 11:12:00 PM
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I notice that people are calling for Matthew to be banned so I'll add

5.  Should we ban people to whom the scammer tag has been applied?

If they are also relentless trolls, then yes. Otherwise, no IMO.
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September 09, 2012, 11:44:03 PM
 #3

My personal opinions, and I don't decide scammer tags:

I'll get the easy ones out of the way.

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3.  Should people be stripped of any special titles - especially titles like "VIP member" which imply credibility even though they are bought - while their obligations to their users are unmet?
Yes, should also be removed before scammer tag is applied if there is sufficient cause to do so. Pirate for example (he didn't have one) during the grace period he was given.


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4.  Should we disallow the promotion of other services by people who have already failed to meet their obligations in respect of one service?
No, everybody makes mistakes, screwing up once doesn't mean they shouldn't be allowed to try again. Many entrepreneurs declare bankruptcy at least once in their life before becoming successful. Besides that's what the scammer tag is for, to warn people. If they don't have a scammer tag for whatever reason, that's what the community is there for.


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5.  Should we ban people to whom the scammer tag has been applied?
Not as a blanket rule, no. There's no reason to remove their ability to express themselves just because they're a scammer. Besides, banning them would remove any incentive for them to repay and ensure they just return under another account (not that they don't anyway).

Quote
1.  At what point should a "scammer" tag be applied to people who owe members of this community money and who are clearly making no effort to ensure the money owed is paid?
I'm not a big fan of policies that dictate x results in scammer tag because that would result in people abusing the system and intentionally falling just short of x in order to avoid the repercussions. Also saying x will not result in a scammer tag will end up with people doing that intentionally. It's also not fair to say that when there may be special circumstances that would make a scammer tag inappropriate.

I also don't like answering hypothetical scenarios, because there's a lot of information, words, context, extenuating circumstances, etc. that aren't given. Just results in a bunch of arguing over semantics. Very few things in life are black or white.

I think reneging on an agreement is about as clear as it gets, and adding in a bunch of clauses will result in more harm than good.

Quote
2.  Should we have a separate tag which advises people to be cautious in dealing with people who owe money but who don't yet meet the benchmarks for applying the scammer tag?
I don't think it's needed, the community is quite capable of doing that themselves.

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theymos
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September 10, 2012, 12:32:26 AM
 #4

I agree with BadBear.

When scammers first started appearing on the forum, many people asked me to ban them. I was unwilling to do so, since the scammers were on-topic, not trolling, etc. But users were unprepared for this hands-off policy and kept get scammed, so I felt obligated to do something. I did the absolute minimum possible: I added a little warning under the names of proven scammers so they weren't able to continue scamming clueless users. That's all I'm going to do. I don't want to ban scammers from the community. I don't want to tag suspicious people. I don't want to set up "courts" or complex rules. Someone else should deal with that.

Quote from: repentance
no excuse for it not being applied to those who operated Bitcoinica and who continue to operate Intersango.

This is a very complex case. Much more so than the cases of MNW or Pirate.

Pirate for example (he didn't have one) during the grace period he was given.

Actually, Pirate was VIP. It would have been good to remove that status during the grace period, but I didn't think of doing that.

The forum only supports showing one membergroup title, so scammers automatically lose VIP/staff/etc. status.

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