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  1. #1
    The Eternal Optimist zimmy's Avatar
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    Question Need your advice...
    I have a forum on one of my sites and we are having a problem with some of the members ganging up on other members. Do you think it is appropriate for me to go in and read pms?

    I want to find out who is with who and what they are saying about these members they are picking on, but I don't know if that is right. My purpose for doing it is to see people's real characters and who is in the wrong....if that makes sense.

    If a landlord owns a building, he doesn't have the right (I wouldn't think) to go in and snoop in the tenants' personal things.

    On the other hand, I pay all of the bills for the forum - they are not paying "rent" to be there. So technically, their stored pms belong to me. No?

    I doubt I could tell them I am doing it - that would go over like a lead balloon.

    So what are your thoughts on this? Is it wrong for me to go have a look?



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  2. #2
    ABW Ambassador
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    Evict them

    I wouldn't go in to read PMs. Can you tell them to cool it or give them some time off from your forum? How bad is the ganging up? Is it more just disagreeing or flat out attacks?

  3. #3
    ABW Founder Haiko de Poel, Jr.'s Avatar
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    Kick or time out out the trouble makers, protect the members and don't read the PMs.
    Continued Success,

    Haiko
    The secret of success is constancy of purpose ~ Disraeli

  4. #4
    The "other" left wing davidh's Avatar
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    Never never never ever ever ever dig into PM's.

    If you don't want to ban the members, perhaps you should issue temporary "cooling off" bans when things happen out in the open.
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  5. #5
    ABW Ambassador flamingoworld's Avatar
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    Do not ever read their PMs. It is like an invasion of their privacy. Either tell them to knock it off or they are out.

  6. #6
    The "other" left wing davidh's Avatar
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    BTW nice to see you back, *****. (u know i luv u baby)
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  7. #7
    ABW Ambassador meadowmufn's Avatar
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    I don't think there's much point in reading the PMs. It's what goes on in public that shapes the community opinion (since they can't see PMs), so deal with the troublemakers based on their public comments. Make it clear that harrassing or disparaging other members will not be tolerated and state the consequences of such infractions. If they continue their bad behavior, follow through with the stated punishment.

    If they're perennial troublemakers, just outright ban them. Been there, done that.
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  8. #8
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    What Haiko said. They're called *private* messages: that name is a promise that they won't be snooped through. Whatever their dispute is, if it's disrupting your forum, tell 'em to "take it outside" and that the forum isn't the place for it. Ban if necessary.
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  9. #9
    The Eternal Optimist zimmy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trust
    Evict them

    I wouldn't go in to read PMs. Can you tell them to cool it or give them some time off from your forum? How bad is the ganging up? Is it more just disagreeing or flat out attacks?
    It is flat out attacking. Reminds me of how the bullies acted in high school. Thanks everyone for your help. It's pretty clear about the pms and definitely clear about not putting up with it.



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  10. #10
    ABW Ambassador
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    "It is flat out attacking."

    First sign of that, time off and tell them why, have to set the tone. If they do it again, ban them. At this point, it seems it's a little out of control. Maybe post you won't tolerate it and then follow thru. On my forum, I have it in the rules that people have to read and agree to that personal attacks won't be tolerated.

  11. #11
    Classic Rocker Mack's Avatar
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    Sometimes you have to set an example to maintain control. I would temporarily ban anyone who made an unacceptable comments. Regardless of the reason, self defense, or whatever. Look at each post individually, don't look at the user name, ask yourself if it violated your TOS. Anyone who violated your TOS gets muted.

    Tell them they can come back after a cooling off period. If they create a new account and continue, IP ban them forever. If you let it get out of control, it will be out of control forever. Let them know it wont be tolerated.

    Every once in a while, although not often, even Haiko has to smack some sense into people.

    Don't read the PM's. Don't take sides. Don't put yourself in the position of deciding who is right or who is wrong. Decide who violated your TOS and treat them equally.

  12. #12
    Life is Supposed to be Fun! Rexanne's Avatar
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    Zimmy, if someone came to a party at your house and peed on your carpet, you wouldn't tolerate it. Same thing in your forum. It's YOUR house and you make the rules. No need to find out why ... peeing on the carpet is just outright intolerable.

    I;d ban each person who attacked another member for a couple days and let them know why publicly.
    Peace,

    Rexanne

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  13. #13
    Newbie jaguarpolar's Avatar
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    I agree with the rest. You don't need to play jury. They're not suppose to stir up trouble in the first place so warn them. If they still don't comply after a warn, ban them for a few days. After that, ban them permanently.

    If you have a posting guideline (which should state something like - no attacking members), then just refer them back to that.

    It's DEFINITELY a NO to read private PMs. If members were to find out their PMs are liable to be read, they probably won't want to use the PM feature again! Just as you wouldn't want to use Yahoo Mail for instance, if you knew Yahoo employees read your emails.

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