What's up with the ethics of this site? Locked

Started Jun 3, 2010 | Discussions thread
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Chato Forum Pro • Posts: 46,027
What's up with the ethics of this site?

I was just banned for a week. I have no idea why. This is the notice I received in its entirety:

Dear Chato,

This is notification that you have been temporarily banned from the dpreview.com forums, details of the reason for this ban are shown below. You will not receive another notification when the ban has lifted, it will simply expire after the period shown below.

Incident: 126604
Ban period: 7 days
Ban category: Flaming / Trolling / Abuse
Ban notes:

This is an automated email, replies will not be read. If you wish to challenge this decision use the feedback option on the site.

dpreview.com Forums Administrator

Well, I went to the "feedback option" and challenged this decision. No response. I sent another letter, and again no response. Well this site prides itself on its ethics. And indeed, over the last ten years, using two different identities, I've probably participated in over a hundred threads where I defended this site. This is in fact just the second time that I have been critical.

And in this case my criticism is quite simple, if you promise something then you are morally obligated to do your best to meet your voluntary offer. This site is private property, and they have become a resource for photographers worldwide. They attempt to review equipment, provide analysis, etc, etc. If they don't review the camera I'm interested in at any given time, that's just too bad. I'm not paying them for such a review, and whatever I get is more than worthwhile. I believe their reviews are as fair and impartial as human beings can make them; errors that occur from time to time are mostly a matter of opinion, or if obviously mistaken, they are the first to rectify them.

The recent thread I started on the massive cheating in the Challenges is directed to their offer of holding a fair photo competition. If they cannot meet this obligation, then they should have simply suspended the Challenges until they could, or cancel the challenges if they couldn't. If they offer an opportunity to contest a banning, then they should either do so, or cease to include such an offer in their notices. Besides, the logic of banning someone for bad behavior, without telling them what the behavior was, is not exactly a constructive approach.

DPReview is a business not a charity, and they are not in business to make me happy. And I too have owned companies, and I too met ONLY those obligations that my business claimed to provide, not what someone else claimed. Even so, I have donated much of my time and expertise at no charge to people and organizations I respect, and any free obligation that I assumed was just as important to me as the ones that I was being paid for. If I couldn't meet an obligation - I didn't make it.

And these people are pretty paranoid. For example, in the thread I started on the question of the Challenge fraud, I received the following response from Mr. Askey:

Chato, I know full well you're not a member of my fan club, and never will be, that's fine. It's true that galleries, forums and challenges all help to support the popularity of this site but they contribute very little to the bottom line, we provide them more as a service than as a revenue generation (the exception to this will be Pro accounts for galleries). A single camera review is worth considerably (and I mean magnitudes) more to the site than months of challenges usage.


Since I had NEVER criticized and in fact always defended this site, what was he talking about? A bit paranoid to accuse someone of being an antagonist, who has in nfact always defended you.

Now, I'm sure that I was NOT banned because of that thread - But this site took on the voluntary obligation of offering me a chance to respond to their ban. Just as they took on the voluntary obligation of holding a photo competition. If they can't meet an obligation, then they shouldn't make the offer. Seems simple enough to me.


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