Due to the unacceptable level of spam and low-quality posts signature campaigns generate we have decided to offer some guidelines of what is and isn't acceptable and an explanation of the punishments for users who continually make low quality contributions and the campaigns that continue to pay them to do so. Signature campaigns should be a way to reward users for quality
contributions and only those that do should be paid, but at the moment it has become a way for many campaign operators to lazily and cheaply advertise their business by paying greedy users to spam whatever unsubstantial rubbish they can be bothered putting the minimal amount of effort in to and this will no longer be tolerated. Campaign Participants:
Staff do not want to hand out bans for unconstructive posts but if we feel that you as a user are continually making very poor or unsubstantial posts due to your paid signature the following bans will be issued:
First offence: 7 days
Second offence: 14 days
Third offence: 30 daysFourth: Permanent ban
Your first ban is your first warning. If you have to be banned for a fourth time it is permanent and you will no longer be allowed to participate on the forum under any accounts. Note:
If you are banned on one account then you are not allowed to post under any accounts you own for the duration of your ban. The only exception to this rule is Meta where you can discuss the circumstances of your ban if you wish to do so but anywhere outside of that sub will be considered ban evasion and will get your ban doubled, but it is generally best to just patiently wait out your ban and improve your posts on return and hopefully no further bans will be needed.Warning:
Anyone caught copying other users' posts or plagiarising content from elsewhere on the web will be immediately permabanned. You shouldn't need a warning to know that this isn't acceptable under any circumstances. What counts as an unsubstantial or unconstructive post?
There is obviously no set definition to what constitutes unconstructive posting as it is entirely subjective and is ultimately down to Staff opinion on what posts are constructive or not, but generally it is quite easy to spot a spammer posting only for payment. Spam can come in many forms, but a typical spammer's posts will often follow some sort of pattern which will be immediately obvious upon inspection and will usually consist of one or two sentences of rehashed opinion posted as fast as possible with the minimal amount of effort being put in. A quality/constructive poster will generally have no pattern to their posting history and will have posts ranging from one word to one sentence to several paragraphs and everything in between and this is what you should be aiming for. If you find yourself in a position where you are forcing yourself to reply to a thread due to your signature campaign then that's a pretty good indication that you're likely making unsubstantial posts. Helpful suggestions:
• Firstly, just put some actual thought into your posts. Actually read the thread and the replies already posted. Often-times people will just read the title of the thread and post without fully understanding the topic or issue and make either irrelevant posts or say the same thing that has been said numerous times before.
• If somebody asks a specific question and it gets answered adequately within the first post or two nobody needs to read another ten replies saying the same thing just reworded slightly. If you cannot offer any additional info or clarify/correct something then you probably don't need to post it.
• If you struggle with English it's probably best to try stick to your Local boards. Your English does not need to be anywhere near perfect and you will not be penalised for this but if people generally can't understand what you're saying then it will likely be considered unsubstantial or spam.
• Short replies are not always bad and long ones are not always good. Sometimes all that is required is a simple one word yes or no response, but stretching out an answer just to appear constructive usually has the opposite effect.
Please note that these guidelines are a last ditch attempt to clean the forum up from an issue caused almost entirely by spam from paid to post campaigns and if you want to be able to continue to earn bitcoins in such a way then please do your bit to help. Don't force yourself to make posts and if you see someone making poor posts either report them to the moderators or give them a friendly PM warning and link them to this thread. If things do not change around here pretty quickly then the only solution will be to prohibit signatures from the forum entirely so it's down to you as signature participants to help make that change if you want to continue to earn from them. Campaign Operators:
Signature Campaigns are a great way to introduce your business and advertise your services to the bitcoin ecosystem but this cannot be abused by you paying people to make poor contributions en masse. As a signature campaign operator you will ultimately be held responsible for the quality of posts of users bearing your signature advertisement and you will need
to monitor your users closely or it will
be quickly abused. If you are running a campaign and it becomes blatantly obvious to Staff that you are doing little to nothing to stop spam on your campaign you will be issued a PM warning by a Global Moderator that you need to make immediate improvements to curb low-quality posts. You will have 7 days to remove low-quality posters and respond to the message detailing what you are going to do to make changes to your campaign to reduce the amount of spam. If improvements are not noticeable within 21 days of that and Staff do not believe you are doing enough to prevent low quality posts your signatures will be blacklisted from the forum by an Admin and you will no longer be permitted to advertise here in such a way. The Staff and Admins do not want to have to do this but it's a last resort in an attempt to clean up the forum as signature campaigns cannot continue to operate here in such a lazy way as it is not fair that others have to go through pages of drivel to find anything of substance nor should Staff be left to clean up the mess you are paying people to make. Running a campaign:
Running a campaign is not an easy task and it requires someone actively
monitoring participants daily and this cannot be left to Staff to deal with or for other users to report to you. If you cannot commit to doing this or do not have someone within your company who can do the job to an acceptable standard then you should either hire someone to do so or close your campaign and look at alternative ways of advertising. If you want to hire a Campaign Manager then create a thread in the Services
section requesting one as there are many that are willing to do so for a reasonable fee, but make sure they can do the job effectively as hiring a manager who isn't going to do the job efficiently will not make you immune from punishments. Types of campaigns:
There are generally two types of campaigns: 'Fixed' campaigns which offer a fixed amount of bitcoins for a minimum of X amount of posts and 'Pay Per Post' which is pretty self-explanatory. Pay Per Post campaigns pay for every post that a user makes and thus tend to be the most abused whilst fixed campaigns tend to limit the amount of spam generated. It's up to you which campaign you choose and both are fine just as long as you have someone monitoring them. If you don't then either form of campaign will
be abused. If you want to check out or compare other signature campaigns an overview of all the currently active ones can be found here
• You should only start a campaign if you have someone willing to keep a very close eye on your participants posts. If you do not then a signature campaign is not for you.
• Do not just automatically accept any user that signs up to your campaign. Check their posts first. If they're all short sentences or unsubstantial or in very poor English then they're likely not going to change their habits. If every campaign only accepts and pays for users who have made fairly constructive posts then this will instantly clean up the forum as any poor posters will have to improve if they want to earn anything from a campaign.
• Consider only accepting higher-ranked accounts. Not only do lower-ranked members tend to make the most spam, they also have limited signature space for your advertisement. Full Members and above would be recommended, but if you want to pay Newbies then that's entirely up to you, just remember that you are responsible for the posts they make.
• You cannot rely on a bot to run your campaign for you. Bots are great for counting and tallying up valid posts and even for paying users but they are useless in determining actual post quality and you need
someone to be monitoring users along side it.
• Do not take on more users than you can handle. It is almost impossible for one campaign manager to monitor hundreds of users making thousands of posts a day. Instead of paying as many users as possible, limit it to a manageable amount as having a handful of quality posters is better than hundreds of spammers who will only give your company a bad name/image on the forum.
• Consider only paying for certain sections/sub boards. Do you really want to pay people to post in Off Topic or Games and Rounds? If you do then that's entirely up to you but don't be surprised when users exploit these sections with unsubstantial posts.
• Consider not accepting users with negative feedback. It never looks good when users have negative feedback and 99% of the time the feedback is there for a good reason, but if you want to take this on a case by case basis then that's down to you.
Remember, these are only suggested guidelines but if you do not think you will be able to follow them or keep the spam down to an absolute minimum then please look at alternative ways of advertising. Forum ad slots can be purchased via auction from the Auctions board here
You as a campaign will not be warned or have your signatures removed for having a handful of low quality posters on your campaign especially if they're quickly dealt with. We accept that no campaign will be able to stop spam 100% of the time but these guidelines are there for the campaigns where it becomes blatantly obvious they are doing little to nothing at all to try prevent spam and are happily paying people to post rubbish continually even after a warning. Please monitor your users closely and there should be no issues.