Why the ban on photo rumor sites?

Discussion in 'Photo.net Site Help' started by szrimaging, Jan 21, 2011.

  1. Why the ban on photo rumor sites? I just don't understand it. There was an article a while back on Nikon-Rumors about rare Nikkor macro lenses. It was actually a very good read, and had absolutely no rumors in it. It isn't like this ban actually stops anything, it just prevents people from citing their sources and either adding a bit of validity or invalidity (depending on your point of view) to their argument.
    Case in point, just go look at how many D800 or D700 replacement threads there are in the Nikon section.
  2. Various rumor sites have spammed Photo.net in the past and I have no intention of helping them promote themselves any further.
  3. SCL


    There's lots of places to go for rumors. Hopefully they'll go there and stay off here.
  4. Why the ban on photo rumor sites?​
    I read, can't remember where, that they can damage your computer.
  5. banned because someobe reads the rumor and next thing
    you know it becomes fact. I reported a statement and it was a rumor,
    and I sasid it was, despite that, it was out of line.
    I reported on an anouncemet ( real) and did not check the date (oooopppsss)
    it may have confused some.
    On another forum I read a Kodachrome rumor.
    I DID NOT REPORT IT. it would have been a disaster.
  6. From a mod's point of view, the rumors sites wore out their welcome here through relentless spamming and use of sockpuppet accounts when they launched. It's just a dopey, clueless form of self promotion that disregards both written policy and unwritten practices. Pretty much the same as a kid doing a looky-me cannonball into the adult side of the pool while the grownups are trying to relax, enjoy a tasty beverage and get a tan.
    The surest way to wear out one's welcome on any site is to disregard the terms of use and participation guidelines by engaging in one sided self promotion while not adding anything of value to the site, including cluttering up discussion forums with looky-my-website posts instead of supporting the site by buying ad space.
    Feel free to visit the rumor sites. I do. I just don't feel any need to clutter up photo.net's equipment discussion forums with scuttlebutt. I lurk and participate on lots of websites. I don't clutter up their forums by yammering about photo.net or trying to drive traffic here on their dime. If I believe I got some value from the site I'll click on one of their ads to show some support, or show support through some legitimate means other than spamming and astroturfing.
  7. Alright, so really this should be separated into two concepts: the ban on self promotion by these sites (very reasonable, and I can have no disagreements there) and the use of citing them or linking to articles. I just feel, that this ban also can stop the flow of free discussion that makes an open forum so good at what it does. Maybe I am putting too much faith in my fellow members, but I would like to think people can sort through the crap to get to the good things.
    What if you did kind of a tiered membership concept? I know for a motorcycle forum I am part of (Kawiforums.com) there was a lot of problems with spamming. Then they placed a 10 post minimum before you could exit and post outside of the newbie section. What if you had to be an active member for a couple of months before you could mention one of those sites? And the privilege could be revoked if you were spamming with posts about the latest predictions? Although, I could easily see a counter argument of a management nightmare on that one.
    And don't get me wrong, I'm not in the least dissatisfied with the excellent job you guys do on this forum. Just trying to have a conversation on something that bugged me. And in the end it is your call. I had no clue about the spamming thing. I did a search on rumor site ban to see if I could figure it out before i posted this, and it turned up nothing.
  8. "...I would like to think people can sort through the crap to get to the good things."​
    So would I. But over the years I've seen plenty of new photographers join photo.net who didn't realize they'd been misled by rumors and disinformation until they asked the right questions. (Not to claim that photo.net forums are always accurate - mostly accurate... I hope.)
    Meandering musings alert...
    Short version: What's the payoff for photo.net getting involved in entertaining the rumor mill? Right now the hassles (endless bickering) seem to outweigh the benefits (ad revenue). But if that could be turned around and make rumor mongering profitable while not compromising photo.net's preference for credibility ... who knows?
    In part it would depend on how manufacturers regard the balancing act of non-disclosure agreements and rumors. I get the feeling some manufacturers may be relaxing some constraints against rumors and violating NDAs, but that's just speculation on my own part based on observing leaks that would seem to have come only from sources with real insider knowledge. Sometimes I get the impression that manufacturers are, on the one hand, demanding strict adherence to NDAs with official reviewers, while on the other hand leaking some information to the rumors press. No solid evidence, just a hunch.
    And there's no doubt that the rumor press is very popular. Over the past couple of years it seems at least some folks would rather discuss rumors about The Next Big Thing than actually take photos.
    I suppose it wouldn't do much harm as long as there are enough experienced, credible folks with sufficient patience to consistently provide accurate information. But it can try ones patience, especially when it may require a few paragraphs of diplomatically qualified explanations to basically say "Much of the information/speculation posted on so-and-so's website is utter hogwash but occasionally they/he/she write/writes something accurate. Be sure to do your own fact-checking before buying or changing your work habits based on what you read there."
    There's also the sockpuppet game, played to promote a business or personal website or blog. One member or his/her family or friends registers multiple accounts here to create the illusion of spontaneous grassroots support (astroturfing), or to simply bolster his/her own argument. It's tiresome and sometimes the least bad - not to say "best" - compromise is to simply prohibit links to a particular website.
    By the way, as far as I know it's generally okay to discuss rumors on the Casual Photo Conversations forum, even if direct links to certain sites are blocked. Each forum has somewhat different practices based on moderators' interpretations of which compromises seem to work best for a given forum. And while it may seem arbitrary, inconsistent or even unfair to some folks, to others it seems appropriate based on the zeitgeist for that forum. That's a good thing.
    Regarding the posting limits to weed out spammers, it sounds good in theory but in practice doesn't seem to work out. Believe it or not, we've seen several instances of sleeper spammers - accounts set up months, even years in advance, that were dormant until the spammer began activating the accounts. And several who'd patiently wait out what they apparently believed was an existing posting limit trial period before spamming us. They'd start out by appending innocuous but useless comments to a dozen or more threads - stuff like "I agree, useful info!" - before slipping in the spam links. I'd bet there are dozens of sleeper spammer accounts already registered here that haven't been activated yet, but there's no practical way to screen them other than by blocking IPs, a blunt force tool that can prohibit legitimate folks from joining photo.net.
    URL shorteners/abbreviators also require labor intensive screening. They're popular among spammers to mask the destination URL that's been banned, but even more popular among legitimate members. It isn't practical to screen out TinyURL, bit.ly and similar tools that are handy and even essential for microblogging.
    Photo.net is among the most heavily and prominently Googled sites around. Savvy spammers know this and know that anything they post will be Googled almost immediately and may be cached for several hours or days even after their spam has been deleted. So it's a labor intensive battle. Fortunately we now have the help of some veteran members who can flag spam for review and, if appropriate, deletion by moderators. Helps a lot.
  9. Jeez Lex, almost everything you said makes me really glad I work on resort websites for a living.
    Thank you to both Lex and Josh for your time.
    Over the past couple of years it seems at least some folks would rather discuss rumors about The Next Big Thing than actually take photos.​
    Some people would also like to argue the current gear to death rather than take photos. I have had my fair share of this lens vs that lens threads, so I am not in the least saying I am not guilty of it. Just something I find funny, and possibly a little disturbing at times.
  10. The rumor sites generally to a disservice to photographers. They are like a newspaper that publishes everything without first fact checking. Now you could say that the readers should be smart enough to figure out whats true and what isn't. In fact if you read the "National Enquirer" that's exactly what you have to do - though I have to suspect that many of their readers lack the capacity for critical thought. The two headed Alien stories are probably made up. Some people feel the same was about Fox News...
    The rumor sites are the same. They'll publish anything to attract readers (readers = advertising = cash).They don't check facts, they don't care if what they publish is accurate. All they want are eyes on the page.
    I for one won't promote them and I don't want to see them promoted here.
  11. I subscribe to the RSS feed of a Canon rumor site.
    Not sure about the others, but the guy running this ones seems respectable. He labels the rumors according to how accurate the sources have been in the past. His "most trusted" rumors turn out to be accurate more often than not.
    That said, I wouldn't put money on anything I read there. It is fun to read about musings and speculations about what is coming.
  12. What's the harm in a little rumor in our lives?
  13. What's the harm in a little humor in our lives?

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