"This topic has been discussed in various threads on this site numerous times. "
One thing that this view omits are new subscribers to eHam.
My point was that we have talked about it in the past so it's nothing new. And we have not (for better or worse) done anything about it for the most part. We've stuck to the "laissez-faire approach" for the most part. It was not meant to be dismissive in the sense that I was suggesting users should scour our history to see if it's been brought up (although of course one should always attempt that!)
"It has been our philosophy to basically let "common sense" be the rule....These forums are rather "Wild West" in comparison."
This seems to be a simple, laissez-faire approach which should work....except when it doesn't. My contention is that it simply doesn't in the Company Reviews (and pseudo-CR posts in other Forums, such as the thread on Ameritron Amps recently). The only sense that is held in common is that off beating up on companies without a disclosure of basic consumer facts: what did someone purchase, what precisely was wrong with it, did the purchaser contact the vendor with details of the problem, what did the vendor do, etc. If eHam were being reviewed on another website, I'm willing to bet that eHam owners would wish the same principles were applied. They often are not. My posts have rankled some when I've pushed them to provide these basic facts. This has especially been the case with the MFJ Enterprises companies...even back to when I asked you to remove a patently racist rant about MFJ being a "Chinese" company, etc. This is the case for other companies as well but there seems to be folks ready to go off on MFJ's companies without clear facts. More importantly, without even contacting the company!
It's not eHam's responsibility to patrol the threads and save people from their own words. I'd prefer that users post rebuttals or challenges (as you've done) - I think that kind of activity goes further to demonstrate what is expected on the site. Further efforts on our part will just cause more grief for us than the original post. I have experience with this!
"some heated posts of which I was a part were summarily deleted in the Amplifiers Forum without any contact with one if the parties who let it get out of hand
Isn't that self explanatory? I mean that in all sincerity."
No Mike, it is not. If your site were hacked by Anonymous, would you think that's self-explanatory? You could guess that eHam had somehow offended the Anonymous hacker group. But you would not know.
Well, I don't think any hacker group, once in, would limit their damage to simply deleting a post or two.
By saying nothing...even in a PM to those whose posts you deleted...you invite further guesses as to what the rules are and whether some receive differential treatment (e.g., do you edit negatives against companies you favor, etc.). Note that this parenthetical example is NOT a charge against you but merely an example of what may be drawn from silence by the Administrator.
We get that charge anyway. One of the main reasons we created the "Company Reviews" category was to allow people to post (vent) about their experiences with a company outside the Product Reviews. Before the category existed people posted complaints about Company X within reviews for Company X's products we would delete the review. Of course we then got accused of playing favorites.
The counter that you don't have time to write one or that it will only get parsed by subscribers seems to pale in comparison to just saying nothing. Remember, you said you asked for the job!
Yes, but why would I go out of my way to add to the burden?
Why should they cater to this Forum when ranting customers buy something, find fault with it (rightly or wrongly), get on eHam and blast the company, all without ever communicating with that vendor's customer support.
Exactly why we have elected to NOT get involved very much. How are we to prove that user K1ABCD is a licensed ham, holds that call, actually owns the equipment about which he's complaining, or has contacted Company X's customer care to try to resolve the issue?
Overall it would be much easier for us to turn off the Company Reviews and leave it at that.
"Once eHam has decided to muck with a post/thread we have neither the time nor the inclination to explain every deletion we may perpetrate. "
You're right. You have the power of the printing press. You can do what you want. Just as subscribers can.
True enough. We get as much hate mail as we get those that express gratitude. Can't please everyone.
My sentiments, Mike, have been toward helping the eHam Company Review Forum to become more objective in what is said so that it is indeed a help to customers as well as vendors.
I sincerely believe and appreciate that.
You and I have different views on how to achieve that, it seems.
Less than you might think. However in our experience and opinion, implementing something "more better" is always "more harder" than it seems and comes with the potential for lots of unintended consequences.
Your post was quite thoughtful and I appreciate your having taken the time to write it.
And, after all that...
As I said before, we may yet post some rules. All in all, I think I'd more easily tolerate being accused of "caring too much" (being overly strict with interpretation of these rules) than or "not caring enough".
73 Mike N2MG