I operate a forum dealing with exchanging links. Links (by their very nature) seem to make people CRAZY and I'm seeing a lot of multiple postings in different categories - which I believe I've clearly outlined as unacceptable forum behavior.
QUESTION: Is it best to send violators a note reminding them of the forum policies and delete inappropriate posts or simply ban users that break the rules?
I certainly appreciate their participation and don't want to kick anybody out, but I'm spending a fair amount of time cleaning up the forum. Any solutions anybody has, I'm all ears.
This is a classic dilemma, GorgiasPR. If your members are clearly aware of the rules and flouting them, I'd ban first and follow up to see if they want to play by the rules second.
However, I've found that in most forums 90% of the TOS violations are unintentional, i.e., the member never read the TOS and has no clue that whatever he is doing is against the rules. These members will usually avoid bad behavior once corrected.
So it's really up to you as to how innocent you think your offenders are. If this is a big problem, have people check something off in the enrollment process that clearly states dupe posts won't be allowed and that violators will lose posting rights.
Thanks rogerd, I didn't want to lose any members and it seems that your method may work for us. I've also tried to clarify any ambiguity in the terms and conditions and have focused on providing regular updates on posting rules in our forum newsletter. Thanks for your help... I'll keep you posted on the results!
About the reading of rules, as written about above:
Do any of you folks have a rule-by-rule 'check off' that a new member must do before joining? If so, do you have the experience to be able to compare that style with the usual style of the straight text and "I Comply" requirement?
I think this is an age old problem of getting members to actually read the rules, without shoving the rules down their throats.8
"age old" HA! Who's this newbie joking? It ain't been that long since ARPA! 'age old' my big foot!
The tone of this entire discussion seems like a "shoot first ask questions later" type of mentality that is prevalent here on this site. I have noticed this and it seems very odd and strange to me that the people in charge are so quick to judge since as someone here indicated 90% of all discrepancies are attributable to ignorance or miscomprehension.
So, if you take the time to explain and clarify the issues then people will better appreciate it and subsequently contribute money to your site and posts. What is also most often the problem is that what a person thinks is clear language may be confusing to others.
Anyway, an overbearing judgmental attitude toward the people who pay for your site and all those who are potnetial contributors will just end up driving them away as someone else here stated. Better to ask questions first and shoot later. This is not a war of words here it is a forum. Other than that good luck! It is hard to have everyone arrive at the same page when everyone has different interpretations of ambiguous wording. I do know that the TOS is ambigous in many areas and needs to be defined much more clearly.
I apologize for posting before offering any suggestions. So, is there a way to have members receive a popup or other info prior to posting that addresses this? Or have members have a monthly or quarterly redirect to TOS for a review? In this way you do not have to "spend too much time cleaning things up" as you state. Or, how about posting some of the most frequent issues and inserting them into the border structure of the forums?
Also, if it is getting to be too much time and effort for you perhaps you can resign from your duties and take a break and go on a vacation to decompress. One needs to prevent burnout so this is why I say this since repetive tasks tend to create "shades" that sometimes blind us from seeing our job the way we used to. Hope this helped?