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@AG Jeff HOGWASH! I might get fired for this, but here goes.

It's really a bunch of crap. One of the most important ways of communicating with our members has been taken away from us. Privacy concerns is just an excuse. We keep things private all of the time. We know how to respect privacy and we know how to manage the forums we manage.

As I mentioned in a previous post, confidentiality agreements can easily be drafted and signed by all moderating staff.

I'm sorry folks, your way of rolling out and updating the forums is really bad. It's clear to me that whomever is steering the ship has no clear direction, only a destination. The steps that need to be taken are clearly missing. This whole transition from vBulletin to Xenforo has been poorly thought out and implemented.

This Labs site is here for the developers to get feedback and input from some of the most experienced Admins and Moderators. It seems to me that many of us Admins have more experience at doing our jobs than you. Why aren't you doing a better job of listening?

The changes that have been and are being implemented affect our user experience, not to mention that of all of the members. Isn't the goal to make the user experience better? You guys are frustrating us.

A while ago, I posted about a guy who signed up with the username ****. I temporarily banned him and reached out to him via email to start a dialog with him. If I ban a member, how on earth can I communicate with him? What am I or another Admin to do, if in a situation like this? We ban a member, but have no means of communication with them? Do we ask one of you and wait two to three days for a response?

There are not enough of you to support the demands of the Admins from over 800 forums. The response time is pathetically slow. Most of the replies that I get seem to be from someone who lacks the skills to help us with issues.
 

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Here's another situation. There's a member on our site who has posted the same question in several threads. One of the Moderators has sent him a message asking him to stop. He's also been pointed to the answer. The member has not read his conversation because he doesn't know that hes getting messaged. So, if Admins could email the member, we would get him and stop and provide an answer to the member's question.

The only tool I have to stop him is ban him.
 

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I guess I am ranting. Reading through the VerticalScope Privacy Policy, I found the following statement:

We limit access to personal information to employees, representatives and service providers who require access in connection with their job responsibilities.

"Can someone smarter than me please explain the difference(s) between employees, representatives and service providers?"

Keeping things private is about trust. When folks sign up on one of your bulletin boards, they trust that VerticalScope, it's employees, representatives and service providers will keep their data private who require access in connection with their job responsibilities.

Where, in the above quote to Administrators and Moderators fall? We aren't employees, nor are we service providers. In a sens, we are service providers. We provide a service to the members and the owners of the bulletin boards. We are also representatives as we represent the owners of the bulletin boards and act on their behalf. And, we do it for FREE.

Keeping this private is about trust. A person who signs up on one of your bulletin boards doesn't need to read through the terms of use or privacy policy to know that their data will be kept private. Or will it? Privacy = trust. Confidentiality Agreement means trust.

As an Admin, I should not have to fight so hard to get you folks to understand the every one of the Admins and Mods on your 800 plus forums are in positions of trust and do not abuse the privilege of having access to confidential information.

Here's something else that I and several other Moderators and Admins have discussed. In years past, some of us have been threatened with law suits.

If one of us is sued, is VerticalScope going to step up and pay for our legal representation? This is a valid question.
 

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Thank you, Jon. I am retired and have been since 2014. If I have to spend hours of my time pounding the table to get someone to listen to common sense, then it feels like a job.

I spoke out on the email address censorship two months ago.


9 days ago, @AG Jeff said in his post:

We will most likely not be giving admin address to full emails as they will be truncated to protect user privacy and adhere to current industry best practices.
I replied and in my post I said:

If VerticalScope wants to hide email address from the Admins and Moderators, you are tying our hands. Many of us have had to deal with problem children in the past. The way we have done it is through our personal emails to make it more personable. We've even called members who have caused us problems. We prefer these methods of communication because they are more effective

I am sorry, Jeff, I don't buy the industry best practices line. The Admins and Moderators we have on the AlfaBB are all exceptionally bright and responsible. We go into a user's profile to get their email address only for AlfaBB business. That business is solely moderating. We do not abuse the privilege of having access to their email address.

The best practice is for VerticalScope to draw up a confidentiality agreement for any and all moderators and admins to sign.
I think It brought this issue up in a timely fashion allowing for enough time for the development team to discuss and make the necessary changes.

Thank you for listening to me.
 

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Thank you, Jon. I am retired and have been since 2014. If I have to spend hours of my time pounding the table to get someone to listen to common sense, then it feels like a job.

I spoke out on the email address censorship two months ago.


9 days ago, @AG Jeff said in his post:
This has been an ongoing and animated discussion for a long time, I have said on many occasion that when I look at 'view all' I'm Staff, that is pretty simple to understand, I've also said out loud and in private conversations here and with modadmins on my home forum before my invitation to Labs that I want all the rites I had under vB back, there is NO valid reason why I can't as far as I'm concerned, that is a 'gimme', I (and my fellow admins) have faithfully served P4x4 and its members for years which also means I have faithfully served Verticalscope.

We have come a long way in the past few months, this and Premium Membership are the final hurdle as far as I'm concerned.
 

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Wow, great feedback, folks.

I want to start off by apologizing to the paid staff for being a little to "forthright" with my comments and finger pointing. As I understand things, it is management within the company that is dictating the privacy policy without actually understanding what the Admins and Mods need to do their jobs. It was explained to me that we are in the trenches and the folks here are the ones that take our feedback to management. The folks here are the filter between us and them.

So, thank you for listening to me and putting up with my crabby nature.

Below is the list of the reasons why we need access:
  1. helping them gain access back into an old account that they have lost access too
  2. being able to use that email address to contact them if a PM (conversation) does not work
  3. to help manage fraud/spam/duplicate accounts through various processes outside the forums
  4. If they have been banned, there is no other way to communicate with them
  5. It makes for a more personable way to communicate with a member
In years past, we have given some users a suspension because of the behavior. During the suspension, we had need to communicate with them. So, email was THE option. In some cases, email became inconvenient, so we would talk to them on the phone. The only way to get their phone number was through email

I've also noted:

We don't get paid for what we do.
We are doing VerticalScope a favor
We do it for the love of the marque and owners (I'm assuming most of the sites are car related)
 

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Would anyone be a bit suspicious of this, just found it this morning. Not being able to see emails directly and easily can make our job easier.
Definitely something going on here but I have no idea and it got through AI.

4172


4173
 

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@Ross Wittig, you cant tell just from this. Go to the member's public profile. Click on About and see what they have written. If you don't see anything there, check the IP address. Most of the time, if it's India or Pakistan, they are probably going to spam. I click Follow to keep an eye on them. There are folks from other countries that are spammers or crocked. Just rely on your experience.
 

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@Ross Wittig, you cant tell just from this. Go to the member's public profile. Click on About and see what they have written. If you don't see anything there, check the IP address. Most of the time, if it's India or Pakistan, they are probably going to spam. I click Follow to keep an eye on them. There are folks from other countries that are spammers or crocked. Just rely on your experience.
I know that, I was simply using it as another reason for us to see email address's front and centre.
 
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