Social Question

keobooks's avatar

What would you do if someone sent you a private message admitting that they did something on this site or another site that would get them banned?

Asked by keobooks (14301points) July 28th, 2010

On another answer site, someone sent out a post asking why they may have been banned from mTurk. I told the guy that he should ask people on Turker Nation about his situation. He sent me a PM telling me that he had also been banned on this site as well. Then later he admitted that he had also been banned from the site we were talking on.

This site I was on has a strict policy about banned members being forbidden to come back. We’re suposed to report if we even suspect it. He’s admitted it.

Part of me wants to ignore it, because he’s never done anything bad to me as far as I know. The other part of me keeps thinking that he’s already been banned from three different sites—that’s pretty “impressive”. And perhaps it would be better to report him before he does whatever has caused him to get banned all those other times.

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22 Answers

Austinlad's avatar

Others may disagree, but I think you should leave it alone.

Cruiser's avatar

I wouldn’t worry about it…not your job to worry about it. Let the mods handle issues like that!

Luffle's avatar

Even if you report him, he could always return. If he hasn’t offended you, you should leave it alone.

ninahenry's avatar

What do Fluther mods think?

downtide's avatar

Personally I would ignore it, for all the reasons stated above. The only exception I would make is if it was a site for over 18s only, and I discovered that a person was underage. I can’t feel comfortable knowing there’s minors on an adult site.

Frenchfry's avatar

Wait until he offends you,.I am sure he will get banned sooner or later. The mods will catch him. I am sure,

Blackberry's avatar

Uh, nothing, because I have more importan things in my life to worry about.

Jeruba's avatar

When you say “banned on this site as well,” you don’t mean fluther, right?—but that other site that you have in common?

If I were in your place, I would say “Since you told me this, I have to tell you that I think you ought to play by the rules. But it’s between you and your conscience.”

keobooks's avatar

No I meant banned from the site I suggested to him.

He was banned from three different sites, but not Fluther.

I am editing to add that I think my hackles may have raised because when I asked him why he was banned from site #2, he mentioned the name of someone I know and respect from site #2 and #3. She’s also on site #1, but I’ve never contacted her on it. I’ve known her for a while and she has a very solid reputation on both sites.

He called her a nasty name and claimed that she was being petty and tried to get him banned for “no good reason at all”. It just doesn’t make sense because she’s very well known and has never displayed behavior described like that. She’s been known as one of the more helpful and good people.

To hear him trash her and say that she has been running around trying to get him banned from all these different sites really set me off and got me a bit angry. But he still has never done anything to me personally. I just wish he could at least say “Yeah, I did such and so and broke a few rules, but I didn’t mean to” or something. He’s trying to claim that this abuse came down from the sky out of nowhere and he’s the poor innocent victim. And that’s a peeve of mine too.

augustlan's avatar

Of course, answering from a mod perspective, I’d want to be informed. We don’t ban people for no good reason, and I’m sure most other reasonable sites don’t either. I hate to encourage tattle-telling, but there is likely a very good reason he was banned and telling a mod would protect the community from more of the same.

tinyfaery's avatar

No one likes a tattletale.

ninahenry's avatar

swooping in with a GA there, @augustlan! I agree.

MissAusten's avatar

Unless what he was banned for could potentially harm people, like stealing personal information, I wouldn’t report it. I’d stop “talking” to the person privately. It almost sounds like he’s looking for you to be on his side and back up his idea of how he was wronged. If he has a history of not being able to behave himself on these websites, he’ll get banned again eventually.

I always tell my kids, “It’s tattling unless the person is doing something dangerous or hurting someone else.”

augustlan's avatar

@MissAusten That’s exactly what I tell my kids, too. And why I said I hate to encourage tattle-telling.

But, a case could be made that the banned member will ‘harm’ the community, so I’m kind of torn.

ninahenry's avatar

We don’t know why he’s been banned though, and I don’t think @keobooks should put herself in danger to find out why, right? If it was that he was stealing personal information I wouldn’t want to be involved with the person at all. So whatever she does she definitely needs to break contact with the guy and if he doesn’t make that possible, I’d tell then.

YARNLADY's avatar

delete the message and ignore it.

stardust's avatar

I’d ignore it. It’s not your job to report anything.

rooeytoo's avatar

Are you Big Brother? Is it a matter of national security? Will anyone die or lose their home if you don’t?

If the answer to the questions above is no, then I would say you are better off minding your own affairs.

keobooks's avatar

Well, it was a red flag to me because he was banned from THREE different websites. Usually, that would mean that he was doing something really heinous and horrible. And I’d want someone who had social skills that poor away from the site ASAP. I don’t know about the rest of you, but I’ve never known anyone to get banned from three sites like that. I’ve known people who were banned from two different sites, and they were really terrible posters—and if I knew that person was on a third site, you bet your ass I’d report them. I’d seen the damage they wreaked on other sites, I’d want the jerk pulled out right from the start. This is why I asked the question.

It turns out though, this guy was in a position that made things different. The site I was talking about was Askville. And Amazon kind of caused this trouble themselves. He was one of those professional question askers from India. Instead of coming onto the site the regular way, he just opened up mTurk and would get a huge batch of questions that he answered with jibberish—either cutting or pasting unrelated garbage from random search engines or just answering with terrible broken English. He was ALL OVER the boards and annoyed a whole lot of people.

Because he only came to the site from Mturk, he never saw or participated in the discussion boards and most likely had no idea that people were complaining about his terrible jibberish. He also probably never looked at anyone else’s answers or anything. He just was plugging away, earning his pennies and then one day, he realized he was banned from mTurk—and he went out to see what was wrong and discovered he was banned from all these othere sites as well.

As much as he annoyed me, I don’t think he’s in a position to do that again. Amazon seems to have finally realize that giving out those accounts was a really STUPID idea and they seemed to have weeded out most of those people. I doubt that he’s going to participate much, since in the past the only reason he participated was to get his pennies.

And I’m not some big grade school tattle taile.. meh.. I have had almost 20 years of online experience, and I know how hard it is to get banned from sites like this. I had made the assumption that he did something over the top terrible in the past and was very likely to repeat the behavior and I’d regret not reporting him before he got too out of hand.

But this—I feel like Amazon just did a major screw up and while he annoyed the heck out of me a few months back, he’s not going to do that again. He was getting PAID by the website that banned him to behave that way on the site. What the heck were they expecting?

Dutchess_III's avatar

@keobooks Was he somehow getting paid to do it? I don’t understand what a professional question asker is….?

keobooks's avatar

If you were on Askville, you’d understand. For a while, they were trying to get more activity on the site by paying people via mTurk to ask and answer questions. The system is hard to explain on that site—part of it is Fluther-like and part of this is this odd convoluted system that I can’t quite explain. The convoluted part was supposed to be the main selling point, but nobody really bought into it. So they actually paid people to participate in it.

Slowly, they’ve been getting rid of these people. I think many still have accounts, but most of the ones that were real trouble have been kicked out. In India, they actually have little shops set up and people do those mTurk hits as a full time job. I think this user may have been in a group setting like that and just cranked out loads of crap to add content to the site at about 3 cents a post. I feel more sorry for him when I think of that. It sounds miserable.

SVTSuzie's avatar

Don’t worry about it. People will spot it. If they told you something that you think should be banned, then flag it. Tell them, if they think they said something that might get them banned, that they probably should ban themselves!

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