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Forum Moderators: rogerd
Iíve become concerned about the level of promotion that one particular brand is getting on our forum. The reason being, that this is promoting a commercial website that is dedicated to selling that brand.
The difference between promoting this brand and promoting other household names is that we would be encouraging people to support their local retailer instead of just one website.
My problem with this brand is that it is primarily marketed and only sold on the Internet and this encourages advertisers and fans to spam the forum with promotional posts. It has also been suggested that this brand is nothing more than one of the household names rebranded with their logo.
I know that a lot of the posts there are heart felt from genuine people, but the forum is starting to look decidedly biased in respect of this particular brand.
New visitors seem to be finding less objective discussions on the wide variety of brands out there.
We ran a poll recently of favorite model / brand, and the poll became distorted because the manufacturer linked to it from his forum.
Any suggestions on how I should handle this?
If they decline, oh well. But there remains the problem of them distorting the brand's image. You could consider creating dummy accounts to slate their product a bit, just to re-esatablish the balance, if that really matters to you.
After you clean up past spam, put their name and/or URL into your swear filter. If anyone asks why they can't post that name, explain that the site has a history of spamming the forum with commercial posts.
Be sure your TOS includes a warning about evading the word filter, then ban persistent offenders who keep promoting. When someone types in "fi1tered_w0rd" to get around the filter, it's pretty clear they know they are doing something that they are not supposed to.