Creditnet Statement: 4/15/2003

Discussion in 'Feedback' started by CCN steve, Apr 15, 2003.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. CCN steve

    CCN steve Moderator

    Recent events require me to intervene this morning with a few reminders pursuant to our Terms of Service and the principles that have guided this site since it was founded 8 years, 1 week, and 2 days ago.

    First and foremost, open discussions regarding all things credit-related are welcomed and benefit everyone.

    Certainly the predominant world view expressed by Creditnet members can be described as an aggressive exercise of ones rights as prescribed by Federal law, specifically the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) among others. Within this world view, the consumer is held as the protagonist, while creditors are seen as antagonists -- a dichotomy that is unfortunately borne of our collective real life experience. It is an established fact that these two Federal statutes in particular are designed to protect consumers, with the FCRA placing limits upon how information about consumers can be reported and with the FDCPA placing limits upon how collection agencies can conduct their business. Both statutes were legislated as a response to serious consumer abuses in both areas. Although Federal law has vastly improved the landscape for consumers, abuses still occur, and we justifiably hear those discussed within Creditnet.

    While this aggressive consumer orientation reflects the prevailing view, it is important for all of us to realize that ours is not the only point of view. Unfortunately some of our members apparently believe that opposing views somehow violate the Creditnet Terms of Service. Specifically:

    -- There is a correct point of view, and it is ours.
    -- Opposing point of views are disruptive.
    -- Challenging the prevailing view is disruptive.
    -- On the other hand, the Terms of Service regarding name-calling and harassment don't apply if the poster doesn't share our point of view, even if that other individual is polite about it.

    Needless to say, I do not agree that we are so weak that we cannot withstand civilized discussion. The aggressive, pro-consumer orientation which prevails here is based upon law and is far stronger than anyone who would randomly moralize. Let the discussion reveal the truth. More than one CA has visited Creditnet and left far wiser. Perhaps the most prominent example of that was WestCap, a collection agency owner and esteemed Creditnet member who exchanged more than a few insights with others here -- and a few disagreements as well.

    Second, the Creditnet Terms of Service will be upheld.

    Opposing views do not constitute a violation of the Terms of Service, even if they are expressed by a couple of individuals who are visiting from another site whose prevailing world view is very different. Neither would I expect Creditnet members to be accused of malfeasance should they visit those other sites. I would, however, expect vigorous debate, and that is exactly what we see.

    What does constitute a Terms of Service violation? Name-calling, outright threats, harassment, spamming -- basically what you would expect. So, to offer concrete examples, when Mycroft was called an "idiot troll," that violated our Terms of Service. When PsycDoc then termed the member who harassed Mycroft a "baby," that similarly violated our Terms of Service. On the other hand, when Too Much said "Live within your means," that does NOT violate our Terms, unless marched across the board spam-style, inserting that single thought within multiple and vaguely-related threads in an obvious disruptive attack. If someone decided to spam with the opposite message -- "Validate everything" perhaps -- that would similarly constitute a Terms violation. It is the behavior, not the debt philosophy, that marks a Terms violation.

    Finally, does every Terms of Service violation result in an account ban? Absolutely not. However a protracted pattern of such abuse -- again, name-calling, outright threats, harassment, spamming, REAL patterned disruption, and the like -- can result in such action.

    Voltaire set the stage for America's overriding philosophy when he wrote, "I may take issue with what you have to say, but I will defend your right to say it." I would encourage everyone to reach for tolerance and civilized discussion. As we've demonstrated for more than eight years, I know we are capable of such a goal. Finally, as someone who agrees with our prevailing pro-consumer stance, I myself am often challenged and flummoxed by those who disagree with us. Regardless, it is my duty to defend all Creditnet members, even those with whom I personally disagree. Please do the same.

    CCN steve
  2. jlynn

    jlynn Well-Known Member

    Thanks Steve. I truly continue to admire your the way you write.
  3. Nestea

    Nestea Well-Known Member



    now, if only we could enforce Unilateral Nuclear Disarmament...

  4. marci

    marci Well-Known Member

    That was very well said. What a breath of fresh air!

  5. rackt3

    rackt3 Well-Known Member

    Well.. fair enough
  6. rblues

    rblues Well-Known Member

    Very well said! I also love the way you write and I'm glad that you posted this message.
  7. humblemarc

    humblemarc Well-Known Member

    yes, well-written, very eloquent. But what does any of that have to do with the integrity of the board?
    I can site no less than 10 testimonials of members of this board who have left in the past week and a half, due to the non-TOS-breaking posts by some of the newer members.

    At some point, judgment needs to come into play, and intuition needs to be used in discerning the "goals" of certain posters. Former moderators have often banned non-TOS-breaking posters due to their GENERAL disruption of the board, regardless of whether they actually broke TOS or not.

    i know you believe that a future "wave" of posters will become vets and take the place of those who left, but one must also realize there are MANY cites available now that give the same benefits of CN without the hassle and nonsense that has been occurring here over the past few months. It won't take long for newer posters desperately in need of help to frequent more reliable and kinder boards in order to get their advice., eventually realizing CN isn't quite the place it used to be.

    I state this not for the benefit of CN, but for the benefit of the posters who come to this board for help. Isn't that what this board is for? Perhaps CN can set up a "morality and responsibility" forum within its site, to accommodate those who feel the need to discuss the 'ethics' of credit repair rather than credit repair itself.

    But as evidenced by the recent comments of brand new and more established posters who have expressed their unwillingness to remain active members of CN among other boards, one has to take a serious look at why there is so much discontent recently.
    Why are they all echoing the same complaint about the board?
    Like any service, it's not the one happy customer one should worry about, it's the one unhappy customer that goes and tells 7-10 other people never to use that service again. Especially on the internet, where one complaint can easily reach hundreds of people in moments.

    CN had always been known for its quality of advice and hesitance to apply judgments upon the circumstances that led people to the site. While threads concerning the 'ethics and morality' of credit appear every so often, the well-established vets (those who had been here from the beginning) quickly reminded everyone of judge not, lest ye be judged attitude of the board. Why? because this lead to an environment that allowed open and free thought and expression of credit problems and ultimately, the invention of new strategies. If it wasn't for that atmosphere, Lizardking might have never discussed or found his strategies of the average consumer suing the CRAs and CAs successfully. How many posts on this board each day pertain to this area? In fact, if one searches the net, many, if not most, of the current credit repair strategies were originally invented by members of this board, who were able to express their opinions and strategies without fear of being called deadbeats or given morality speeches. One can not and will not post their issues, if they are continually worried about the content and quality of the responses or fear having to "defend" their past problems.
    That's the true role of the TOS. or at least it should be. To maintain the integrity of the board, not to keep questionable members from being offended.
    This mistake was made once before and it caused a problem that could have easily been prevented. I hope for the sake of the millions of consumers that are looking for quality credit advice that doesn't happen again.
  8. CCN steve

    CCN steve Moderator

    humblemarc, although I disagree with you, I respect your opinion and of course the obvious wealth of credit-related information you demonstrate with practically every post. I certainly hope that my refusal to censor other points of view doesn't result in everyone's leaving. And, of course, those who choose to make Creditnet their home are encouraged to strongly defend their ideas while allowing others to do the same.

    I'm going to close the thread shortly as this was originally intended as a site statement, but you are welcome to have the last word if you'd like it.

    CCN steve
  9. Butch

    Butch Well-Known Member

    Very nicely said Mark. As much as I hate to say it, I concur completely and applaud your courage for saying so.

    Well ... now let me share some observations too, for I simply can't restrain myself, especially in light of recent events over the past cpl. months.

    Admittedly, moderating this board is NOT easy. However, Steve seems to think that CN is a mere discussion forum. Nothing could be further from the truth. CN has always been a place to go to get real answers to some of lifes toughest problems.

    The strategies, techniques and methods outlined here actually work when approached methodically, carefully and deliberately. This is the system we teach here. It certainly doesn't work every time, but it usually does. This productive environment can not possibly continue without allowing the necessary concomitant latitude for the old timers and vets to "vet out" those who consistently, even sometimes purposely, provide inaccurate and often damaging information.

    Sometimes it's not a matter of disagreeing with someone else's point of view. Sometimes they are just plain wrong and we're not. It's truly that simple. In those cases those of us who have been here longer than 2 months have a tendency to get gradually more and more blunt until something changes. Or at least we nullify the inaccurate information so that newbies don't get sucked into making a mistake that could screw them up for 7 years. This long established technique and well settled CN tradition has always worked beautifully, without intervention.

    It has always been our responsibility to either aid a new trouble maker to change his ways and start learning or get lost. CN, for some, has always been like a second home, far more than a place to "go and chitty chat", "kill some time", "hang out" or "chew the poop".

    Demanding that we all "just get along", even with those who are dead wrong and refuse to learn, regardles of the magnatude of their nitwittery, "reprimanding" extremely well established members for telling someone else they're acting like a baby and reversing PBM's decisions will do far more damage to CN in the long run than a silly cat fight on a single thread, the duration of which is rarely more than 2 or 3 days.

    Irssms wrote just today:

    They get kicked off because we know how to expose them and their bafoonery, draw them out and when necessary, chase them away. Fla-Tan was setting the stage for us to do just that today on his [now closed] thread.

    Recently some have been permitted to provide half accurate information (or worse, none at all) and continually promote their own agenda and self aggrandizement. Those who actually do know what the hell they're talking about are posting less & less.

    Although I do have respect for the difficulty of the moderators job, I must add that CN requires less moderation than is being displayed.

    Colon Powell said: "The manifestation of power most respected by most people is restraint".

    None of us object to opposing points of view if well thought out, researched and in the face of proof to the contrary ones opinion changes. Occasionally a newcomer will get addressed because they are BRUTALLY incorrect and will NOT budge. We label their "opinion" disruptive because it IS disruptive. My advise is to let us handle them, unless it gets terribly out of control.

    On the other hand, if traffic is all new management cares about and you all don't mind CN descending into the depths of just another online banter board, then by all means, keep up the good work.

    And if ya don't mind I shall take the last word.

  10. CCN steve

    CCN steve Moderator

    And you've got the last word. Thanks for the positive and negative feedback.

    CCN steve
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page