Disappearing post - was it moved, removed, or a bug?

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Disappearing post - was it moved, removed, or a bug?

Postby magdalen23 » Fri Sep 06, 2013 3:01 pm

Hi. Earlier today I posted a thread along the lines of "Burners Beware: [redacted] Motel in Alturas, CA." I posted about a bad experience I had there and some anti-Burner comments the motel had posted on TripAdvisor. Someone who knows a lot of people in Alturas posted, said they were surprised and would ask around about it.

When I came back to see if any more responses had appeared, the thread was gone. I received no private message about this. It doesn't show up in my "view your posts" and none of the words appears when i search on [edited].

I think I posted it in "Tips & Tricks."

(maybe add this to the Features requests: a really good, well-named, obvious sub-category on the e-Playa about traveling to and from, or touristing around in, the Black Rock area? i looked around but might have missed it.)

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Re: Disappearing post - was it moved, removed, or a bug?

Postby lemur » Fri Sep 06, 2013 3:19 pm

the admins remove posts like that to avoid problems with lawyers and burner created witch hunts.


its likely yours was removed as it mentioned a specific place and wasnt generic
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Re: Disappearing post - was it moved, removed, or a bug?

Postby magdalen23 » Fri Sep 06, 2013 3:23 pm

Wow. I guess they'll have to remove Yelp and TripAdvisor and Facebook from the Interwebs, too.

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Re: Disappearing post - was it moved, removed, or a bug?

Postby magdalen23 » Fri Sep 06, 2013 3:25 pm

So - is one allowed to post something along the lines of [redacted] Motel in Alturas, California is rude to Burners and, without contacting me, charged an extra $25 to my credit card, claimed it was for a stained towel, would not send me the towel, accused me falsely of dyeing my hair in their establishment, and posted an anti-Burner screed on TripAdvisor"?

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Re: Disappearing post - was it moved, removed, or a bug?

Postby Savannah » Fri Sep 06, 2013 4:13 pm

Hey There. I'm sorry for the delay in explaining the removal of your post. I'm recovering from the flu I developed on Sunday of the Burn. More later when I'm not typing on a phone screen. In the meantime, hit up Yelp AND your credit card company and see what else you can do. Thank you.
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Re: Disappearing post - was it moved, removed, or a bug?

Postby GreyCoyote » Fri Sep 06, 2013 4:56 pm

Magdalen: best thing you can do is tell your friends, and vote with your feet next year. They clearly dont want your business, and you will never give them any more, so its a wrap. Decline the charge on your credit card when it comes.
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Re: Disappearing post - was it moved, removed, or a bug?

Postby Eric » Fri Sep 06, 2013 10:30 pm

magdalen23 wrote:So - is one allowed to post something along the lines of [redacted] Motel in Alturas, California is rude to Burners and, without contacting me, charged an extra $25 to my credit card, claimed it was for a stained towel, would not send me the towel, accused me falsely of dyeing my hair in their establishment, and posted an anti-Burner screed on TripAdvisor"?


That probably wouldn't be allowed, as follow up questions in the thread would undoubtedly make clear which establishment was being discussed.

While some warnings about businesses have been allowed, this board (unlike Yelp or TripAdvisor) is directly a part of the Burning Man organization, and we have to tread carefully between warnings about companies and posts that could be used in legal actions against the LLC. This is not Yelp, or the Better Business Bureau, and it's definitely not the Customer Service desk for any company.

What we can, and do, recommend is posting to Yelp, notifying the local Better Business Bureau about the company, letting your credit card company know about the charges you dispute, letting the national corporation know (if it's part of a chain or a franchise), and posting your warnings on sites that are not linked to the event (like reddit & facebook).

Normally the Mod who pulls the post sends a PM right away, Savannah explained why that didn't happen this time.
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Re: Disappearing post - was it moved, removed, or a bug?

Postby BBadger » Sat Sep 07, 2013 9:59 am

What about a negative review, not directly naming it, but linking to the Yelp page of the offending business?
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Re: Disappearing post - was it moved, removed, or a bug?

Postby Eric » Sat Sep 07, 2013 1:36 pm

BBadger wrote:What about a negative review, not directly naming it, but linking to the Yelp page of the offending business?


Please explain how directly linking to the business on Yelp is different than directly naming it. All you're doing is putting the extra step of clicking a link in there, and the liability issues still stand. ePlaya is not set up to be a BurningYelp, and it's not the place to go after businesses that you have issues with. Yelp is set up to be Yelp, please use them as such.
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Re: Disappearing post - was it moved, removed, or a bug?

Postby Savannah » Sat Sep 07, 2013 2:08 pm

Reply send to Magdalen. I am sick as a parrot right now. Clearly I just should've just let someone else handle the situation.

If I wanted to work free for Ye1p, I'd work free for Ye1p.

But I don't, because that would be repulsive.
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Re: Disappearing post - was it moved, removed, or a bug?

Postby BBadger » Sat Sep 07, 2013 2:41 pm

Eric wrote:Please explain how directly linking to the business on Yelp is different than directly naming it. All you're doing is putting the extra step of clicking a link in there, and the liability issues still stand. ePlaya is not set up to be a BurningYelp, and it's not the place to go after businesses that you have issues with. Yelp is set up to be Yelp, please use them as such.


(Note: I realize that the case I provided describes that a negative review gets posted here, but then the business is linked to another site'. This is for the case where someone would just link to the review directly, instead of the review posted here).

You're right, it's not different. However, it illustrates a case where now we're precluding linking to any 3rd party site that provides bad reviews. More generally, I also think this stifles any negative feedback about products, businesses, or any entities that may be important for Burners to know -- and which may help change the operational behavior of said entities. This policy also seems to be applied unevenly, e.g. posts about U-Haul or other companies -- even specific locations -- not painted in a positive light should also be reacted.

If this all boils down to "because that's how it is", can we at least understand the ground-rules for this self-censorship? The TOS/guidelines are there, but they're inspecific -- for good reason as they can't cover all cases. However, it would still be good to know what the red-lines are for "defamatory" messages about some other entity versus a regular negative review.

Regardless, Burning Man would not be liable for defamatory posting on their forum anymore than other content -- a provision of the Communications Decency Act (47 U.S.C. § 230). The "liability" argument may be because you don't want to deal with providing contact information for a member's post should you receive a court order. I'll accept that. Still, I think knowing the red lines, as above, would be good for everyone.
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Re: Disappearing post - was it moved, removed, or a bug?

Postby lemur » Sat Sep 07, 2013 2:50 pm

im locking this thread.

please send any further questions to /dev/null
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Re: Disappearing post - was it moved, removed, or a bug?

Postby GreyCoyote » Sat Sep 07, 2013 4:33 pm

That worked. :mrgreen:
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Re: Disappearing post - was it moved, removed, or a bug?

Postby theCryptofishist » Sat Sep 07, 2013 6:32 pm

To venture a guess, Bbadger, it may be the difference between a thread that's asking for places to stay in Cedarville and gets that response--possibly amoung others, and a thread specifically started to complain about it.
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Re: Disappearing post - was it moved, removed, or a bug?

Postby Eric » Mon Sep 09, 2013 12:28 pm

theCryptofishist wrote:To venture a guess, Bbadger, it may be the difference between a thread that's asking for places to stay in Cedarville and gets that response--possibly amoung others, and a thread specifically started to complain about it.


^This is pretty close to accurate.

I can't give hard & fast answers, for the same reasons that the ToS and Community Guidelines leave areas vague - there's no way for us to know in advance what may come up in the future, and we have to give ourselves room to make decisions. We also let as much go as we can. It's rare that we have to pull a thread for reasons other than commerce, and it's not something any of us like doing.
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Re: Disappearing post - was it moved, removed, or a bug?

Postby trilobyte » Fri Sep 13, 2013 4:16 pm

Just seeing this thread, and to add a bit more info, the reason these posts are removed isn't really to protect against litigation (though I suppose in an extreme case that could come into play). It's to prevent using ePlaya for the purposes of public shaming or as a makeshift yelp/review site, as well as to avoid using the site for the purposes of lynch-mobbing. When someone's post like this is removed, it's not because anyone is taking sides, or that someone doesn't believe the poster. That sort of thing had been allowed in the past and had gotten out of hand, and we don't allow it on the boards anymore. We encourage you to use review sites, or to dispute charges with your cc company, or if need be take it up with the Better Business Bureau.


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