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Thread: Comments:Duplicate Posters, shills, etc.

  1. #1

    Comments:Duplicate Posters, shills, etc.

    Why can't I post in the MODs Dup shill section?

    I am outraged and shilling must stop, off with their heads!!!

    Most, if not all shills, are agency owners and should be banned if caught.


    Masshole
    Last edited by masshole10; 04-30-2005 at 03:02 AM.

  2. #2
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    Thumbs up shills, cheaters, spammers, duplicate, etc....

    To all fellow posters,

    I don't know if it is me or what, but I am getting really annoyed by posts in some threads which sound more like self-publicity than anything else.

    We get the same phenomena with a South American Goddess.

    The Board will lose much of his credibility, and fun as well, if shills continue to take over threads.

    I think Agency owners, SP's and MP's should be most welcome to this Board, as long as they clearly identify themselves. Their point of view can be very interesting.

    In fact, experience shows that the ultimate destiny of most adult boards on the Net is to succomb to the attacks of spammers, shills and cheaters of all sorts. Strong action is required if we don't want this to happen to Merb.

    Elvis
    Last edited by Elvis; 04-30-2005 at 12:02 PM.

  3. #3
    Veteran of Misadventures
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    Elvis,

    I totally agree. As I see it, and I see it from the perspective of years of regular posting on this and other Boards, the problem is not the Mods (who are actually pretty good on this Board), the problem is the veteran posters who placate and pander to the shills rather than attack them. I recently harshly (and deservedly) criticized another Board veteran poster, who himself is not a shill, but who repeatedly and stupidly posts in such a way as to invite more shill posts by saying that they have a right to promote their agency blah blah blah. We also have several veteran posters, who are themselves shills and frauds, in the sense that they take payoffs or discounts by posting in a shill thread, pursuant to behind the scenes deals with the agency owner shills. There are 2 such Board veterans here who are doing this and I have reported both of them to the Mods. One of them was already identified. The other is a little more subtle, he is a Board terrorist who sees an SP, then threatens the agency owner with a bad review unless he is given a discount. Fortunately the agency owners have gotten wise to this practice of Board terrorism. The other practice of being a mule or dupe, we have seen in two forms, the veterans who placate the shills, and the more blatant abuse which is the veterans who always have their names in a new agency thread started by a shill, and the reason why is that a deal for a discount has been struck.

    My only criticism of the Mods is that they have not taken strong enough action against these veteran posters. Some should be banned, others should have been suspended, and one should have at least been given a verbal reprimand and told to shut up. But none of that happened. The Mods have told me they have no proof, and maybe they don`t, and maybe they don`t want to turn this into a witchhunt. On the other hand, the problem has gotten serious as has been demonstrated by the recent Emotion Montreal fiasco. It was a complete fiasco for the agency and for the Board, and has left a sour taste in the mouths of a lot of people, including board members and other agency owners. This kind of thing simply cannot be tolerated or invited to happen in the future if this Board wishes to remain credible. I don`t think shills will ever be completely eliminated, but some of the shilling that we have seen could have been stopped if the veteran posters would realize that we all benefit from good info, and self promotion is not good info. Posters who support the self promotion and corroborate it are suspicious and are usually out for themselves and looking for discounts. They don`t give a shit about whether the info is good or not. Keep this in mind.

    Gentlemen,

    We have had several recent topics on shills, including https://merb.cc/vbulletin/showthread...3875#post73875

    Here is the rule:

    RULES

    2) Forbidden Activities:

    vi) Posting under multiple handles. Only one handle per poster. Duplicate posters and/or obvious shills WILL BE EXPOSED to the world.

    We also have a stated policy regarding duplicate posters, giving them 24 hours to respond to our inquiry before the duplicate handles are banned
    https://merb.cc/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=4715

    Once again, the "fiasco" was handled according to our rules. He was exposed, the additional handles were permanently banned, and we have not detected any further infractions.

    During April, we exposed 20 duplicate handles, of which 15 were permanently banned. 9 of these handles were found in the last 8 days. Our new methods are working well.

    Finally, some moderation actions are taken in public, some in private. No one, other than M2, Fred, and I know all of the actions that have been taken, or are underway. When we have credible evidence, we act upon it. When we suspect "board terrorism" occurs, and the "victims" do not cooperate with the investigation, we cannot do a thing about it

    I have privately invited selected individuals to help me work on the rules, but they have either declined or ignored my request. I have also publically posted my belief that MERB belongs to the members, and it is up to you to decide how we moderate, and under what rules we operate, within reason. If I find time to revise the rules myself, I will put them it for a vote.

    For now, the rule is posted above, and M2 and I will try our best to continue to enforce it in a consistent and fair manner.

    Thank you,
    M4
    Last edited by Mod 4; 05-30-2005 at 12:05 PM.

  4. #4
    Veteran of Misadventures
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    M4,

    How about the following proposed rule amendments (under 2(vi)):


    "a. Anyone who posts specifically to promote or publicize an agency, except by a clearly identified and authorized agency representative in a thread clearly delineated for that purpose, shalll be subject to immediate and irrevocable banishment from this Board and shall lose his/her posting privileges. The Moderator may, in his/her discretion, impose such other penalties as are fair, just and reasonable based on the circumstances and the history of the trangressor.

    b. Anyone who is determined to have used a negative review or negative publicity on this Board, or has threatened same, exclusively to gain a purely personal benefit, shall be subject to iimediate and irrevocable banishment from this Board and shall lose his/her posting privileges. The Moderator may, in his/her discretion, impose such other penalties as are fair, just and reasonable based on the circumstances and the history of the trangressor.

    c. Any poster who is determined, on at least three (3) occasions, to have placated or supported posters who are engaging in transgressions of the above rules, will be publicly reprimanded, and may be subject to suspensions upon repeat offenses in the discretion of the Moderator."

    I don't think the language of the rules is as important as the enforcement of them. The rules have to be worded broadly, but the shills don't care what the rules say. They will only care once they start seeing consistent and aggressive enforcment. Your enforcement activity does seem to have taken a more aggressive turn recently based on the statistics you have cited.

    EB,

    RULES

    2) Forbidden Activities:

    v) Posting false or otherwise unverified information with the intent to either damage the reputation or otherwise of a service provider or agency or, to gain favor of a service provider or agency.


    Would your proposed rules replace our existing rule 2(v)?

    Please PM me examples of posts you believe would violate rule "c", so I can better understand it. If possible, please also show me a post similar to those, but which would not violate the proposed rule.

    Thank you,
    M4
    Last edited by Mod 4; 05-30-2005 at 12:05 PM.

  5. #5
    Veteran of Misadventures
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    M4,

    I think my proposed amendments should supplement, not replace, the existing rule. In other words I think you should add it to the existing rule. The existing rule does not specify any penalties for violations.

  6. #6
    2-2 in bans... loser...
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    The shilling won't stop, ever. I could come in with 10 different user names and you would never detect it if (METHOD DELETED M4). Rookies or veterans who are suspected from shilling should be called out in each and every thread they post in otherwis ethis board threatens to become completely irrelevant.

    My 2 useless cents worth.

    Cheers
    Last edited by Mod 4; 05-01-2005 at 04:06 AM.

  7. #7

    Lets be careful about rules and denonciations...

    I do share EB’s frustration over these issues and agree with the principles he put forward. However, rules are not very useful and enforceable if we don't have the objective means to demonstrate an infraction.

    Shills through duplicate posters, such as those outlined recently with the Emotion Montreal case, were highly suspicious to all right from the start (new agency, new poster). These shills can be easily exposed by the Mods with their tracking tools as I understand. Such clear infractions should be discouraged not only by removing handles, but by banning the member (hobbyist or supportive members) for a certain period.

    Evidence of “bias” or “terrorist” postings are much harder to prove. I can understand that an agency owner may get “threatened” by a poster but it’s up to him to take the necessary actions (go public on the Board, complain to the Mods, blacklist the terrorists and spread the word to other agency owners).

    For the rest, I don’t see how we can really be sure of the real intents behind a poster. One may even post a good review of a particular SP just in the hope of being rewarded by special attentions the next time he will see her. How can we prevent or control that?

    Suspicion is not enough and if we are not careful with rules and denonciations, we can quickly turn this board into a Big Brother version and discourage the posting of legitimate reviews. For example, I’m currently considering seeing a SP from a new agency on the block. I generally wait for a few reviews but I have a good feeling about this particular SP based on E-mail exchanges I had so far with the agency owner. If I go along and make a good first review, will I be immediately suspected of collusion with this agency because of this? If something goes wrong and I’m not satisfied, either by the SP or the agency, complain to the agency and/or post a negative review, will I be seen as a board “terrorist” by someone or just doing this to get free mileage?

    A new poster in these conditions will certainly be quickly accused of doing such things. I've seen it in other threads without real grounds from my perspective and many get real trigger happy in these cases. I want to contribute back for all I got from joining this board. If I have doubts on how it's going to be received, I may not post at all. I have other things to do.

    That's the danger behind rules and denonciations without objective grounds and controls. I'm not sure if this worth 2 cents, but I felt it was important to let it out...

    Lion Heart
    Last edited by Lion Heart; 04-30-2005 at 10:03 PM.

  8. #8
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    A concrete example of shills...

    Hi all,

    Mod2 and Mod4 have done a terrific job about shills and cleaning up duplicate posters. I congratulate them for that.

    However, for fairness and sanity, once a duplicate poster has been identified, his posts should be permanently deleted, especially when it appears to be ovious that this is self-promotion.

    One exemple?

    Check the following threads involving a South American Goddess:

    https://merb.cc/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=5849
    https://merb.cc/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=9107

    In these threads, as Pascal/OralGiver are the same and unique person, I suggest that his posts be permanently removed.

    Elvis

  9. #9

    Sanctions

    Once a shill is clearly exposed by Mods, I agree that more severe actions should be taken. Removing duplicate handles and let the initiator of the shill go for free, such as with Emotion Montreal recently, is not strong enough in my opinion. I'd see a temporary ban (1-3 months) for the first offences, and a permanent ban afterward.

    I'm not sure deleting posts or entire threads started by shillers is a good idea. I feel it's better to leave the examples there, with all the evidences and mod postings about these cases.

    If a duplicate poster or shiller is exposed, a posting could be made in the thread outlining these facts for all to see.

    Lion Heart

  10. #10
    Selective hobbyist
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    I agree with Elvis

    Hi,

    I think that exposed shills/duplicate should have their posts removed as a sanction. These posts were made in bad faith and are still polluting this board. Also, I suspect I am not alone not to read the member status.

    A27

  11. #11
    proud infidel
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lion Heart
    Once a shill is clearly exposed by Mods, I agree that more severe actions should be taken. Removing duplicate handles and let the initiator of the shill go for free, such as with Emotion Montreal recently, is not strong enough in my opinion. I'd see a temporary ban (1-3 months) for the first offences, and a permanent ban afterward.
    Lion Heart
    Nice post LH.

    As for myself, i do not wish to tell the mods what to do but i will just say that whenever i see that someone has posed as a shill and was officially recognized as such, i don't care who it is or what the reasons behind his actions were, it simply turns me off and makes me inclined to dismiss any of his following posts, however truthful they may be. But that's just me .

    fml
    fml

  12. #12
    Veteran of Misadventures
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    Well said FML, and I think your sentiments are shared by most members.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by EagerBeaver
    Well said FML, and I think your sentiments are shared by most members.
    Agree as well ! The only problem is sometimes it is hard to keep tabs on those dam shills... so I tend to refer to the Duplicate posters and shill thread once in a while to refresh my memory and update my "ignore list"
    MG

  14. #14
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    Thumbs down The Gomery enquiry...

    Juliana, bigdick, Bright, Givin'itright, M.Beau, Rick, sam mcbig....
    ... Same and unique person...

    Hey! We were on the verge of having our own Merb Self-advertising scandal!

    Wow! Nice clean-up Mod2 and Mod4. Congratulations and thanks

    Elvis

  15. #15

    Nice clean-up Mod2 and Mod4.

    Congratulations and thanks

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