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Thread: Administrative WARNING about Rant Threads

  1. #1
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    Administrative WARNING about Rant Threads

    Before You Rant Read This
    December 20th, 2010

    "It is the intent of SMC to permit the airing of concerns regarding the suitability of a particular product, or the quality or sufficiency of customer service provided by a vendor in any particular instance provided there is not a breach of contract component involved.

    However, these rant types of threads often deteriorate into a "piling on" and develop a very negative tone. That doesn't assist other viewers in assessing the overall advisability of whether to buy this particular product, nor to assess the overall customer service provided by that manufacturer/vendor.

    In order to be fair to the many vendors that provide woodworking products who are not represented here, the following policies will be in force:
    The original poster must have first contacted the manufacturer/vendor and have attempted a solution PRIOR to posting the thread.
    The original poster should provide factual details of the problem, and details of efforts that have been made with the manufacturer/vendor to rectify the problem.
    Subsequent posts by others must be limited to suggestions to the original poster to assist in rectifying the problem - not to pile on because you had similar problems.

    SMC is a woodworking forum. The intended purpose is to provide a community in which useful information may be shared among our members. Threads that do not achieve that purpose will be locked, or removed as necessary." SawMill Creek is not a Court of Law and we are not in a position to judge a breach of contract case here, therefore SawMill Creek will not become a stage or a courtroom for a one sided legal dispute, it just isn't our mission.
    .
    Last edited by Keith Outten; 08-02-2011 at 7:46 PM.

  2. #2
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    Keith,

    For clarity, you may want to provide some examples of breach of contract... it would help people decide what is/isn't a rant before they post.
    Hi-Tec Designs, LLC -- Owner (and self-proclaimed LED guru )

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  3. #3
    Dan

    This is the SMC position.

    SawMill Creek is not a Court of Law and we are not in a position to judge a breach of contract case here, therefore SawMill Creek will not become a stage or a courtroom for a one sided legal dispute, it just isn't our mission.
    Mike Null

    St. Louis Laser, Inc.

    Trotec Speedy 300 Newing Hall 350 Hot Stamping
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  4. #4
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    There should be no reason to malign/slag a company, store or an individual but legitimate gripes should be allowed as it helps consumers make better choices for products ans services. IMO

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Null View Post
    Dan

    This is the SMC position.
    Mike,

    That quote still doesn't help people understand what "breach of contract" means, and without a good understanding of the definition (for which examples would help immensely), most people here won't know if what they want to post crosses the line into that territory.
    Hi-Tec Designs, LLC -- Owner (and self-proclaimed LED guru )

    Trotec 80W Speedy 300 laser w/everything
    CAMaster Stinger CNC (25" x 36" x 5")
    USCutter 24" LaserPoint Vinyl Cutter
    Jet JWBS-18QT-3 18", 3HP bandsaw
    Robust Beauty 25"x52" wood lathe w/everything
    Jet BD-920W 9"x20" metal lathe
    Delta 18-900L 18" drill press

    Flame Polisher (ooooh, FIRE!)
    Freeware: InkScape, Paint.NET, DoubleCAD XT
    Paidware: Wacom Intuos4 (Large), CorelDRAW X5

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck Wintle View Post
    There should be no reason to malign/slag a company, store or an individual but legitimate gripes should be allowed as it helps consumers make better choices for products ans services. IMO
    Chuck,

    You're absolutely right, but some of the problems we often see here are:

    _People who believe they are right and they aren't.
    _People who jump to complain and haven't even contacted the company to seek a suitable resolution.
    _People who post their rants and when the company contacts me they can't identify the person as a customer. Using an anonymous username here to post a public complaint is totally irresponsible.
    .
    Last edited by Chris Padilla; 04-27-2012 at 12:32 PM.

  7. #7
    I feel for you guys. as someone who owned and operated a very active automotive forum dedicated to SLK Mercedies, it seems no matter how you deal with a post someone will be unhappy. You are walking a fine line. I know from dealing with these issues over the years. The hardest part is trying to be neutral especially when dealing with post that was not putting a sponsor in the best light. You are correct in saying that there are always people that have no knowledge if the situation jump in just to escalate the thread into total chaos, but on the other side of the fence that is why some people join forums. To get help or support information when companies or most if the time the staff deal with issues. I agree it’s hard to make the call between a legitimate issues and a bashing thread.
    I do not agree with how it was dealt with, but it’s your forum to do as you wish. I would have edited any offending post and let the poster know why it was moderated and possibly lock the thread. But the way I look at it when entire threads are removed from the forum it sure looks like the forum is protecting a sponsor or possible future sponsor. And I see that no different than editing out any negative reviews of products. It’s just not the best way. I know when my moderators were doing that I was seeing loss of income from supporting members and started seeing post on other sites about us saying that we over moderated the site and did not allow anyone to question sponsors. The public is fickle and will turn on you for the simplest things.

    I did read that thread and could see some of the instigators posting, but on the original post complaints I can somewhat agree. I have almost been the owner of a few grizzly items like a band saw, table saw and plainer. Then each time after speaking to sales or support I was disappointed with the “I do not care attitude” I was presented, maybe could have been a bad day for the guy the first time, but over a 6month period and 4 calls I can say I ended up purchasing other brands. Also they always seemed to be out of stock for month on everything I asked about.

    Just my thoughts, this was not meant to offend anyone.

    Regards
    Bill T
    Last edited by Bill Trouard; 08-03-2011 at 3:07 PM.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Trouard View Post
    I feel for you guys. as someone who owned and operated a very active automotive forum dedicated to SLK Mercedies, it seems no matter how you deal with a post someone will be unhappy.
    And not only that, but the threat of lawsuit is pretty frightening. I realize that, in the end, SMC would come out fine even if someone was using the forum to be a raving lunatic. That is, SMC isn't responsible for their posts. But a legal battle could cost hundreds of thousands of dollars nonetheless. Something a big manufacturer can afford. I imagine SMC cannot.

  9. #9
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    For anyone to not understand what is "Right" and "Wrong" with SMC's rules for posting inappropriate reponses they should print out a copy of the rules and read them before they post to a thread. To pile on is a simple thing, that if anyone and everyone puts down or trash talks a product or company, no matter what has happened to you or someone you know is still uncalled for. In response to the original starter of the thread all responses should be based soley on first hand knowledge and not filled with negative adjectives just for the sake of to get others to follow that line of thinking.

    If we were allowed to berate and put down each and every company, supplier or individual there would be no useable information on the forum, just negativity whitch leads to a forum disbanding or the barring of all violaters fo the forum rules, then these banned individuals will go to other forums and rant and put down the other forum. Reminds me of why I was so happy to graduate from highschool and get away from the childish actions.

    So with my normal long winded rambling, what it comes down to is what Keith says is what goes, and the MODs will keep up in line when we bump up against the boundaries. I know this because I have pushed the boundaries of the rules, but not for being mean spirited but ignorant, and we know that ignorance is not an excuse.

    Just my thoughts to keep the peace,

    Jeff
    To turn or not to turn that is the question: ........Of course the answer is...........TURN ,TURN,TURN!!!!
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  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Nicol View Post
    If we were allowed to berate and put down each and every company, supplier or individual there would be no useable information on the forum, just negativity whitch leads to a forum disbanding or the barring of all violaters fo the forum rules, then these banned individuals will go to other forums and rant and put down the other forum. Reminds me of why I was so happy to graduate from highschool and get away from the childish actions

    Jeff
    Like I said its a fine line. I do not like bashing threads myself. That is why you have a TOS and rules dealing with that subject on your forum. Like you said Jeff they will go to other sites if you ban them, if you continue to delete threads without good justification you will loose the good members also to other sites. Because most members do not know the details of why just that it was deleted. That is why I found that editing the offending post out and if needed a post at the end of the thread and lock it, but to just delete it is bad for the forums image. I deal with websites and forums for a living. As the owner of a Webhosting business (just do not have the time to run forums full time) I deal with lawyers more often than I care to I have many as customers. As far as having some lawyer contact me, most of the time its just dealing with tradmarked logos/images. The occasional supina for weblogs or user information. but as far as the forum owners being liable to a lawsuit for something posted on a forum I have not seen it. They can not even make you remove it without a court order. if its a trademark issue they will provide you the proper registration information in writing and by law you have 30 days from then to remove it. but when it comes to comments posted you have no issues.

  11. #11
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    Bill,

    There are several lawyers that are members here. One of them posted earlier this year of a court that found that if a website is moderated, it could be held responsible for what was allowed to be posted there. I
    Ken

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Fitzgerald View Post
    Bill,

    There are several lawyers that are members here. One of them posted earlier this year of a court that found that if a website is moderated, it could be held responsible for what was allowed to be posted there. I
    If you were Notified in writing with proper proof that someting was false and you failed to take action, then yes you could also be found partly responsible. In common law jurisdictions and the post contained, slander, malicious, false, and defamatory statements that you knew first hand to be false the "yes again".

    Defamatory statements that disparage a company's goods or services are called trade libel. Trade libel protects property rights, not reputations. While you can't damage a company’s "reputation," you can damage the company by disparaging its goods or services. Because a statement must be false to be defamatory, a statement of opinion cannot form the basis of a defamation claim because it cannot be proven true or false. For example, the statement that Bill is a short-tempered jerk, is clearly a statement of opinion because it cannot be proven to be true or false. Again, courts will look at the context of the statement as well as its substance to determine whether it is opinion or a factual assertion. Adding the words "in my opinion" generally will not be sufficient to transform a factual statement to a protected opinion. For example, there is no legal difference between the following two statements, both of which could be defamatory if false:
    • "Bill stole $100 from the corner store last week."
    • "In my opinion, Bill stole $100 from the corner store last week."
    Since its not SMC making these statments the offended party would have to notify you in writing first to allow the information to be reviewed and action be taken. The offended party could just not slap SMC with a lawsuit. If sites could be held liable for every thing posted on the web we would have no review sites at all or forums.

    I will step down from my soap box now.

  13. #13
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    Over the last nine years I have developed a good idea of what the majority here feel is best for our Community. I receive plenty of feedback via our Private Messaging system that reinforces decisions I make most of the time. I also know that there will always be a small number of people who will disagree with decisions made here but as I have said many times before it is the majority we try to keep happy, never the minority.

    Clearly we are protective of our advertisers, if I told you anything else you would immediately know that I was bending the truth. We must be sensitive to concerns that advertisers have here, if we aren't they will leave and this Community will cease to exist. There you have it, this way you don't have to speculate concerning how we feel about advertisers and every one of you who prefers free access knows that this is the way it has to be.

    This is where I remind everyone that we used to be a self supported Community without any advertising. It was the majority here that wanted us to convert to the current format.

    From my vantage point any Rant that involves a woodworking machine manufacturer is rarely worth reading. The real jewel here is in our threads about woodworking, this is the reason woodworkers gather here. So, we will continue to support woodworking topics as our one and only mission. I realize that when someone is having a problem with a machine or vendor they often feel the need to seek help from others or possibly advice from someone who has had a similar experience. Morale support rarely helps anyone acquire corrective or preventative action, the better tact is to contact the company involved and work with them to solve the problem directly. The secondary problem I have with Rants involves the reputation this Community would earn if we allow runaway rants to steer us away from woodworking and the impact it would have on our ability to connect woodworkers to the companies that build our machines.

    I will also admit that I will remove any thread or delete any post when I think it is in the best interests of a Member here, specifically any post that might put someone at risk of a legal challenge. I would rather be accused of censoring than see someone here sitting in a courtroom who may lose their home or life savings because they made a statement they could not prove to be factual. Even though our forums are not at risk of a legal challenge I really don't ever want to see anyone here suffer or go bankrupt trying to defend themselves against a company that can afford the very best legal staff. If you think this hasn't happened here you're wrong, so far my track record as a peace maker is perfect, if I ever fail the word will spread real quick.
    .
    Last edited by Chris Padilla; 04-27-2012 at 12:38 PM.

  14. #14
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    Bill,

    Sometime in the recent past...I believe earlier this spring a member here who is a lawyer replied to one of these threads. In it he quoted a recent court decision which basically stated that if a website was moderated, the owner and staff could be held responsible for the material posted there. This member quoted the lawsuit and court where the decision was rendered. I wish I could find the thread so I could quote the information.
    Last edited by Ken Fitzgerald; 08-03-2011 at 11:12 PM.
    Ken

  15. #15
    like I said, Its a fine line you have to walk a few times in my post.
    what use to bother me more than a rant thread was menbers sharing pdf manuals, instructions or anything other than their own informantion through the pm system. that will put you directly on the hook for providing a file shareing service. I see lots of post for that here, most of the time members do it corectly by providing a link to the manufactures site. other times you see, PM me and I'll send it. I have seen site owners get into lots of legal issues with that. If you operate a website with public post, the possible legal issues just never end. That is one of the main reasons I sold my last forum. the latest case law around tradmarked names like grizzly, Rikon or whoever owns the name requires the ®​ and ™ be after each name. I now do this with word replacments kind of like you do to replace curse words. for the name Rikon to appear legaly it would hav to be Rikon®​ or Rikon™.
    Though most legal issues can be taken care of with a good solid set of rules and TOS and when ever its updated force all users agree to it upon entry to the homepage.

    I did not mean to offend the Admin or Moderators here, It seems that I have though. Maybe my post should also be deleted since this type of threads is best left for private viewing.


    Have a good night guys.

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