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IBR# 366
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Discussion Starter #1
In continuation of the discussion started in the Things that make you go hmmmmm thread, which has now been locked:

OK, I'm going to assume that you're approaching this in a reasonable manner, and will respond as such. Although I will say that locking out threads instead of letting the discussion continue doesn't build much confidence . . .

As anyone who has spent any time at all on this site knows, I am easily the top poster on this board, and have been for many years now. I've seen (and helped) it grow from a simple email list, through several different forum variations, into the premier site for BMW Luxury Touring that it has become. That's something that we can all be proud of.

You claim this is a private forum, which is true enough. It always has been controlled privately, just like it always has been open to anyone with an interest in BMW motorcycles. Forums like these aren't any good without public participation, so censoring and banning long-term contributing members should always be done with the utmost care and consideration, and not by some random spam bot.

You claim that a user complained about being spammed about a new forum, which is what prompted you to add to the spam filter and cause the ensuing mess. And yes, it is quite a mess, as any of the long-term contributing members here will attest.

You may notice that I repeated the phrase long-term continuing members, because I feel that's the gist of the whole problem here. The random spam-bot is banning long-term contributing members, and it is precisely the long-term contributing members that gives sites like this their value. That's what keeps people coming back and logging in, which drives participation and member numbers, which is what makes the site valuable to advertisers, and keeps it in the black.

Lose those long-term contributing members, either by heavy-handedness, or by draconian rule enforcement, and the whole site suffers, driving people away. And cutting into your precious profiteering.

And let me be clear here: the folks that you have indiscriminately spam-banned are exactly the kind of long-term contributing members that this site needs to survive and flourish. Because that's just what they've been doing for the past decade or more.

Andy Pleschutznig, Randy Prade, and Steve Shreeve (Andy, Randy, and Katnappin, which you would know if you spent any time at all participating in this site) have contributed immensely to this community, from back in the days when it was just a small email list. Andy is the master IT guy, who has kept things running smoothly forever, and has done so much for many of our members, myself included. Randy's admin skills are only out shadowed by his excellent technical knowledge, which he shares freely and without hesitation. Steve's sharing of his own technical knowledge is just as impressive, as is his legendary willingness to help out stranded riders.

Those three have helped to make the site what it is, by giving tirelessly of their time, energy, and talents. I'd take those three as contributing members over any 30, or even 300, lurkers who do nothing to help make this a better site. And definitely over one guy who read something he didn't like and complained . . .

Admin said:
You tell us what we can do to help and we will do it.
You want an honest answer here? OK . . .

What you can do is respect the members for their contributions. After all, that's why you took over the site, right?

What you can do is review this draconian spam-banning. Look at the facts, and make decisions based on context, not on some random word string that you don't like.

Is one alleged complaint really worth more than three of the pillars of this community (or more - how many others have been spam-banned, or are walking away in disgust)? If so, then that truly is a poor business model.

What you can do is become active participants in this site. Because then you'll understand just what it is that makes this community great, and who are the people that contribute more than their share, and have built up the respect deserving of their tireless efforts.

What you can do is to not lock threads (including this one) when you don't like the direction the discussion is going. We're all adults here, and we can handle a bit of lively debate on topics that we're passionate about.

And remember, it's that passion that makes this site so valuable to you and your precious advertisers.

You recently implemented the Share and Like buttons. The funny thing is, those that you have spam-banned would easily be right up at the top of those Shares and Likes, if you had only left them to contribute just as they have been doing for so many years . . .

I can see how this whole situation has been handled poorly on both sides. But I say that it clearly needs to be reviewed, and not just left up to some random spam-bot.

Because if that's truly the direction that this site is going, then I can't see much reason to stick around, either.

So now, you have a choice:

Let the spam-ban stay, and thus prove that you're only in it for the advertising stats, and care not at all about the community or its members. It's just a job, right?

Or you can review the situation and recognize the immense contributions of our members, showing that you understand our community and wish to be active participants.

It's your call, and the future of this site depends on your actions here . . .

P.S.: Honestly, I think littering the site with banner ads and inserting obnoxious and distracting adverts in the middle of threads is far more spammish and egregious than someone randomly posting about different motorcycle-related forums . . .
 

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I rarely fully agree with Ken but he is on the mark here. To make it short and sweet, ken's not very good at that :histerica

This whole situation has been handled poorly in fact very unprofessionally. Along with the lack of response on the virus issue which has been ignored/denied for a long time now. ( I have not been able to log on at work because my work network now considers BMWLT.com a dangerous site!)

This reaction of the Admins of this board, will do more harm than the so called mass spamming by the long term pillars of this community.


So I'm going to ask right here in front of the Board is there a reason we can not let our friends, which I have known many for over 12 years on this site, about another friendly site Y O U R I D E . U S ???
 

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+100 here John! And Ken says it right here!

John
I rarely fully agree with Ken but he is on the mark here. To make it short and sweet, ken's not very good at that :histerica

This whole situation has been handled poorly in fact very unprofessionally. Along with the lack of response on the virus issue which has been ignored/denied for a long time now. ( I have not been able to log on at work because my work network now considers BMWLT.com a dangerous site!)

This reaction of the Admins of this board, will do more harm than the so called mass spamming by the long term pillars of this community.


So I'm going to ask right here in front of the Board is there a reason we can not let our friends, which I have known many for over 12 years on this site, about another friendly site Y O U R I D E . U S ???
 

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Community Manager/Admin
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Hey guys,

First off we do fully appreciate our members and community that has evolved here over the past decade. These actions were taken in an effort to protect the community more so then hinder it. I apologize if they came across as overbearing or disrespectful.

It is ok to inform members but it would have been nice if we were asked/notified to do so, instead of mass spamming members and doing things behind others admins back. This makes it look suspicious, like they are trying to tank the site and split it off. Which we have seen happen before.

I spoke with Helena and these threads/actions will all be reviewed by the forum management team and we will make things right. Just give us a chance to do so.

Thanks in advance and ride safe this weekend all,
Jeff
 

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Miles of Smiles
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Ken.
A well written summation of current events.

Admins.
This community is comprised of people from around the world.
We hang out here because we like to. It's enjoyable.
We contribute here when we can be of help.
This is a forum bringing people together with a common passion.
And generally speaking, motorcyclists are passionate people.
We do love to ride !

Censorship is a dirty word.
Other than incitement to violence, One should be free to express opinions.
Let the individual decide what he / she wants to read !

Cheers
 

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I rarely fully agree with Ken but he is on the mark here. To make it short and sweet, ken's not very good at that :histerica

This whole situation has been handled poorly in fact very unprofessionally. Along with the lack of response on the virus issue which has been ignored/denied for a long time now. ( I have not been able to log on at work because my work network now considers BMWLT.com a dangerous site!)

This reaction of the Admins of this board, will do more harm than the so called mass spamming by the long term pillars of this community.


So I'm going to ask right here in front of the Board is there a reason we can not let our friends, which I have known many for over 12 years on this site, about another friendly site Y O U R I D E . U S ???
+1, Well said by all members responding to this topic. Without the more experienced/ knowledgeable riders that have contributed to this forum it would not be what it is today. We all come here for the common goal of learning and knowledge base as well as friendship in the cycling community. When $$$ start becoming the driving force behind the site it will cease to be attractive.

The core long standing participants as indicated and others of us who are trying to follow and learn best we can should be allowed to do so in a manner condusive to site growth and development.

We are here it is a friendly place. When it is becomes operated like a tyranical "I will only let you see what I want you to see" it will fail.

Censorship never works for anyone.
 

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I left the BMWMOA forum because of petty crap like this. In fact I thought this forum was above the petty antics. I guess I was wrong, same bullshit here like anywhere else. If I knew how to un-register from here I would be gone. Instead I will just not visit anymore. Very sad.
 

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IBR# 366
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16,560 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Jeff,

Thanks for your response.

As I said, I can see how things were handled poorly on both sides here. And I'm glad that this is under review, which shows a reasonableness from your camp.

Honestly, I post less here than I used to for a couple of reasons. I don't come here looking for technical advice as much as I used to, since I've long since moved away from the LT, even if I do remember it fondly. And the tech advice that I can give back to the community is pretty well covered by those still riding that fine motorcycle.

In fact, I mostly still stick around because of all the friends I've made here over the years. Friends I only know online, friends I've met at CCR and other site-sponsored gatherings, friends I've had the pleasure of riding with, and those that I'm fortunate enough to count as close friends in my everyday life.

All of that has come about due to the excellent community that we have built here, which is why many of us are so passionate about this site. And while we do understand the amount of work it takes to keep the lights on around here, none of us want to see it overrun with ads and turned into a profit-first mentality. And many of us are very strictly opposed to random censorship from some sort of shadow host, especially against long-term members who have absolutely proven themselves and developed solid respect from the community that they have built.

And I reiterate, the people that are being auto-censored here just happen to be some of the top contributors that have made this site what it is today. Lose them, and you will lose most of the remaining top contributors due to the solidarity of decades-long friendships, and the entire site will suffer.

So I'll take a wait-and-see position for now, and give y'all some time to digest and reflect.

(And to all the regular members still here that I proudly call friends - you know it's gotten bad when Meese has to step in and be the reasonable one . . . :D)
 

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The old 'messenger13' got screwed by the last regime, and now it appears that some of them are getting a taste of their own medicine.
Makes me kinda chuckle ... just a little. :) :) :)

In case this isn't making sense to you, checkout the screenshot below. That post count for the original 'messenger13' should be well over 15,000 posts. That's over 10,000 posts that just simply disappeared one day ... all deleted back in 2008. Was that censorship? :confused: Where was the freedom of speech back then??? :confused:


 

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I'm one of the more 'junior' admins and was not brought in to the discussions about banning several pillars of our community.

Having read about the controversies yesterday, it seems there are two issues. One was spamming, which we all pretty much hate. How egregious that was I can't tell and I did not receive any of those emails, so I can't say, personally. But I was advised by the senior Admin folks about the banning of the three gentlemen yesterday over spam policy violations.

The other issue in these discussion threads, apparently, is related to the forum owners/hosts reading PMs that are sent, what they had thought was privately, between members, and that seems to be a serious privacy issue that goes beyond spam. Again, I can't personally comment on that. No PMs to me disappeared, to my knowledge.

Jeff has asked us to bear with him for a few days as the senior Admins consult and review the two actions and the two issues, and he deserves our consideration, just as the three gentlemen deserve the consideration of the Admins in the correct light. The handling of both issues have the potential to badly shatter this community of many years standing and I'd ask our contributors, and I'm one of you, to allow the Admins the few days Jeff has asked for.

All of us have freedom on the web - for the time being at least - to participate where we choose, and like any customers of any business, where we feel welcome. So, let's give the Admins a break.
 

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Community Manager/Admin
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Thanks for the understanding guys....

I roped some key people in and should have a plan of action early next week. I sincerely want to make this right, actually lost sleep over it last night.:(

I am not a desk jockey but a 12+ year enthusiast forum veteran who now works in an industry I love as of this year. I have been a founding member of many forums that have been acquired and I know how sensitive and important each community is to you.

Have a great weekend all and lets work together to restore BMWLT.com's integrity and community.

Thanks,
Jeff

Also - if any of you would like to jump on a call early next week PM me and we can set something up. Your feedback and thoughts are invaluable to me since I am a Noob to this site and I want to get up to speed in order to help the process.
 

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IBR# 366
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Discussion Starter #14
The old 'messenger13' got screwed by the last regime
C'mon now Joe, be honest here, and tell the whole story.

You specifically requested that your username and all posts be removed by the Admins, and they complied, after much discussion and some consternation.

You were going through some personal shit at the time, which many of us understood (hell, we've all been there), but you chose to take offense and walk away from this community. There was quite a discussion among the Admins and Mods about it back then, with some people sad to see you go, and others just plain fed up with all your bullshit. You were then, and remain, quite polarizing on this site, as you yourself have attested.

Yeah, but wasn't M13 v1 a spam bot that was full of bugs and Trojan horses??
That's probably a fair evaluation.
So let's be perfectly clear - it was fully your choice to get nuked.

Remember now buddy, the world doesn't specifically revolve around you . . . :cool:
 

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IBR# 366
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Discussion Starter #15
I have been a founding member of many forums that have been acquired and I know how sensitive and important each community is to you.
Then I'm sure you understand that it's the people that make a community like this, and without that, you have nothing.

Personally, I'd like to hear directly from those that were auto-banned, so they can tell their side of the story the way that you guys have been able to. Not for more finger-pointing, but just so that we can all make our own decisions based on the facts. I freely admit that those guys are my friends, but I still need to hear both sides of the story here.

I know for a fact that they are intelligent, reasonable people, so giving them equal time would go a long way towards the Admins reestablishing trust in this community.

And let me be quite clear about that - if the decision that comes down is simply to uphold the previous actions and done behind closed doors, then you will lose a lot more than just the trust of this community . . .
 

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Whether or not the specific actions and persons banned are reviewed and a decision made, is only half the problem here.

Closing threads, scanning private messages and removing them, banning members all first to review later???? If any research had been done first, questions asked of the long term Admin and moderators, then this could of been handle professionally.

I now have little or no trust of the owners and Admins of this site.

I have said enough for now, I'll wait and watch.
 

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Jeff,

Thanks for your response.

As I said, I can see how things were handled poorly on both sides here. And I'm glad that this is under review, which shows a reasonableness from your camp.

Honestly, I post less here than I used to for a couple of reasons. I don't come here looking for technical advice as much as I used to, since I've long since moved away from the LT, even if I do remember it fondly. And the tech advice that I can give back to the community is pretty well covered by those still riding that fine motorcycle.

In fact, I mostly still stick around because of all the friends I've made here over the years. Friends I only know online, friends I've met at CCR and other site-sponsored gatherings, friends I've had the pleasure of riding with, and those that I'm fortunate enough to count as close friends in my everyday life.

All of that has come about due to the excellent community that we have built here, which is why many of us are so passionate about this site. And while we do understand the amount of work it takes to keep the lights on around here, none of us want to see it overrun with ads and turned into a profit-first mentality. And many of us are very strictly opposed to random censorship from some sort of shadow host, especially against long-term members who have absolutely proven themselves and developed solid respect from the community that they have built.

And I reiterate, the people that are being auto-censored here just happen to be some of the top contributors that have made this site what it is today. Lose them, and you will lose most of the remaining top contributors due to the solidarity of decades-long friendships, and the entire site will suffer.

So I'll take a wait-and-see position for now, and give y'all some time to digest and reflect.

(And to all the regular members still here that I proudly call friends - you know it's gotten bad when Meese has to step in and be the reasonable one . . . :D)
+1

I find this whole situation very disturbing.
This is my favorite forum. Lots of good people here.
I would hate to see it fall apart due to some "Big Brother" type activities.

I'll wait and see how this situation turns out ...
 
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My time with this forum has been short due to not having the LT until last year. I have gained a lot of knowledge from the forum elders and had a couple of lively discussions also along the way. Coming in half way through the movie so to speak, a lot of what is going down now is of no consequence to me. However as a new member looking forward and into the future my thoughts and gut reactions to what is now becoming a major issue is of consequence. The post by admin to me is the forum leaders back pedalling. Whether they agree or not agree with the decision to ban three original members the fact is they were banned. Was it a knee jerk reaction or down right heavy handed ness by a totalitarian management committee. I / we cannot say. But we can vote with our decision to either stay or go. Personally for me the poison pill has been swallowed. Like an adulterer in a marriage once that trust has been broken between the two parties it will never ever be the same. People may forgive but never forget. I have had nothing happen to me yet, but why stick around waiting for it to happen. I have joined the new group mentioned and look forward to being with management of a trust worthy nature and not by some money hunting group of investors. Once it becomes a business all bets are off. I would like to wish all the people whom I have met through this forum all the best for the future. Maybe we may meet again on another shore.
 

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IBR# 366
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Discussion Starter #19
I can believe that the deleted PM's and auto-bans were done automatically by the site's anti-spam filter, although someone did have to manually add that particular word into the filter.

If someone comes in and their first 5 posts are clear spam, then ban away. But I still believe that respected long-term members deserve a bit more consideration . . .

I also understand that "Admin" is a broad description, usually encompassing many different individuals, each with different attitudes and tolerance levels.

So I won't go so far as to say they're reading all our PMs and censoring them willy-nilly, but I do remain skeptical as to why a decision like this was made in the first place, and carried out so quickly and so absolutely. Whichever Admin added that word to the spam filter had to clearly know what would happen to those long-time members, even if they didn't understand or anticipate the obvious backlash.

So I'll hold off for now until we get more information from the powers that be as to how we can move forward from this debacle.
 

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Wow, I can't believe what I'm reading, what a mess,
I don't post that much anymore
and I only read the few post that interest me.

I hate politics and don't like to even discuss them,

What I do like are the friends I have made here,
because of this I have been a contributing member since I think 2006.

If my friends Andy Randy and Steve (catnappin)
are banned from this site,

don't expect to ever get another penny from me.
 
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