Joined: 14 Feb 2005
Location: Cayman Islands
|Posted: Mon Jul 31, 2006 2:56 pm Post subject: Private Message (PM) Limitations|
|Private Message (PM) Limitations
Due to the high volume of PM traffic during the past few weeks and the large number containing spam and other contact information, including sites that compete with ours, email addresses and endorsements for non-recommended establishments, I have made some modifications to our PM system.
The post count required to send PMs to members other than myself or Moderators has been increased well beyond ten, which was the number that had been previously established. However, with good cause a Mod or I may elect to manually enable a member?s PM privileges prior to reaching any specific post count. I hope that this will provide additional incentive for new members to post in our public forums while reserving private messages for our most frequent posters, who make the greatest contributions to our forums. This not only conserves system resources and encourages the dissemination of public information but it also encourages members to research the information they are seeking in our forums, gaining other insightful information and knowledge along the way.
Regardless of post count, links of any kind - including email addresses will be automatically removed from member PMs. PM and possibly other privileges will be automatically terminated upon attempting any method of trying to circumvent or deceive our system by suggesting search engine keywords, using spaces or spelling out web sites: i.e. w w w dot email/w e b DOT c o m.
PMs containing solicitations for any sites or establishments that compete with Activity Guide or any of our sponsors will be automatically deleted and privileges will be suspended.
We now have a fairly sophisticated PM filtering and monitoring system in place, which will identify PM abuse and automatically delete the message and disable a member?s PM privileges when a violation occurs. Depending on the severity of the violation, other privileges may also be suspended or revoked. If anyone has lost PM or other privileges during the past few days while we have been improving the system and you feel that it may have been in error, please PM me and I will manually query your PM database records. The system is not perfect but it is designed to give our members the greatest benefit of any possible uncertainty. It would not be prudent for me to disclose the exact details of our filtering and censoring algorithms because it is now painfully clear to me that there will always be some people who will endeavor to circumvent the rules. By simply abiding by our clearly defined rules with respect to PMs as defined in our TOS, you will run no risk whatsoever of any interruption of privileges.
I understand that our TOS can appear arduous in length and time-consuming to read so I put together a very simple list of things not to send in private messages:
? Email addresses
? Web sites
? Names of establishments that compete with the places we recommend. If you have to ask, it?s probably not something you can send.
? Any attempt at ?tricking? our system with things like spaces, d o t s, etc.
? Suggesting to ?Google? keywords that pertain to information already available on our message board or web site. With scarce exception, there is almost no relevant visitor information about the Cayman Islands that does not already exist on our web site and forums.
It?s worth mentioning that every one of these rules has been in place since day one and they are all well defined in our TOS. I want to make it clear that I have not created any new rules or restrictions but simply raised our level of technology to better enforce the ones that have already been established.
The whole purpose of our message board is to disseminate in our forums as much information as can possibly best serve our members. We encourage questions and feedback about the places we recommend and everyone is encouraged to share their personal experiences in our public forums. PMs tend to defeat that purpose, with the sole exception of sharing information of a truly personal nature. By definition, PMs are personal messages and intended for members to discuss personal matters with fellow members that they would not feel comfortable talking about in our public forums. PMs are absolutely not a vehicle to secretly defy our rules and guidelines by soliciting members to other sites or establishments not recommended by Activity Guide.
The overwhelming majority of our loyal members appreciate the many services we are offering for free and abide fully by our TOS, both in our forums and PMs. However, with a substantial and ever-expanding membership, even a very small fraction of our members abusing the system can generate a substantial number of PMs. Part of my role as administrator is to protect our members from spam and other nefarious solicitations and to that end I have spent a great deal of time and expense in increasing the technology and sophistication of our internal messaging systems.
The establishments we recommend are all subject to peer review and public commentary in our forums, ensuring the accuracy and integrity of the information provided. Solicitations by PM are not subject to this same scrutiny and I would seriously question the motives of anyone compelled to make candid solicitations as opposed to posting them openly in our forums.
I hope that everyone will see this for what it is, a means of protecting ? and not infringing upon your privacy and best interests. My primary objective is to expose everyone to the places that I feel represent the very best of the Cayman Islands with everything right out in plain sight for all to see. Good or bad, we highly value your recent personal experiences at the places we endorse. Together, we will make everyone?s visit to the island the most cost-effective, rewarding and memorable experience imaginable.
Joe Stebbins, Editor
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