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Geitje
02-25-2010, 01:28 PM
I just want to say a few things regarding scammer posts and several others similar discussions that occur on the GU. I also want to preface this by saying I'm not trying to stir debate and anger, I'm only hoping to raise awareness which hopeful helps birth concepts and strategies to help in this matter.

1. I, and apparently some others outside of “site managers”, do not find the scammer report posts that offensive. What can be offensive to others are the repetitively callous and usually rude interventions that serve only to say “quiet, take it off line, we do not care, sorry if you’ve been ran over or robbed due to participation on Geckosunlimited, it’s your fault after all, and you should have had a brain”.
2. The popularity of this site has been jeopardized and perhaps ultimately effected by the lack of interest from the “overseers” in allowing there to be some form of online discussion on these matters without being scolded. I see the moderator’s scolding posts and apparent lack of care(i.e. “take it somewhere else” – when it happens here), along with the potential for associated penalties inflicted to innocent members and kids (i.e. “potentially being suckered into the pie in the sky deal”) more offensive than the occasional “scolding post” made by someone to warn us of a thief. The level of hyper-sensitivity by intervening moderators to certain subjects has grown with each passing season and year, to the extent that most people do not want to participate in forum discussions any longer.
3. If someone posts negative, speculative, or dishonest information ( – let alone classifieds on “Marty’s site” and potentially have his name and site ran into the mud due to being perceived as a continued haven for African mugu scammers - ) to an audience of “19,000 users” (Really, ?) then we should be civil and adult enough to allow them to be questioned by qualified, experienced or time-tested members. Anything to the contrary is self-chosen laziness and carelessness on the part of management. Perhaps as the online victims begin to pile up around the world, this site will be remembered as either a place that stood against scams with their words echoing their actions, or rather a resting ground for those who sat quietly behind their keyboards encouraging everyone to grow a brain, and coin innocent and hapless victims as “suckers” and other derogatory terms while extinguishing the truth. By sharing helpful, warning and encouraging posts, or by turning a deaf ear by not allowing it – can everyone on both sides sleep well at night? Not everyone on this site is fluent in English and are capable of understanding English classifieds (that they’ve helped pay for) with 100% efficacy.
4. How many people really use the BOI? It’s worthless really, unless you’re bored and Jerry Springer is not on TV at that time, and you need a daily dose of doolittle drama. Furthermore, considering the strategy of scammers, they’ll change their name anyway and therefore dodge the BOI with their new identities. I can assure you that most serious gecko people on this forum spend far more time here checking for new posts and classifieds than they do checking the BOI a few times/day for the recent influx and evolving list of scammers names and stories.
5. Despite the online cries, kobegasol was allowed to remain online while meanwhile imbedded in controversy for months. I see a pattern (hopefully “not knowingly” and “unwillingly”) of protecting thieves and nefarious characters.
6. If we really care about how our posts are interpreted by young kids and people from all walks of life and nations we would refrain from calling them suckers, no brains and other derogatory terms. Furthermore, if we care about the long term survival of this site, we’d be a bit more proactive in preventing imminent harm to its members by warning them about scammers – regardless of the potential victim’s intellectual capacity or foresight.
7. A little public awareness, by whatever means, on this site might be prudent.

And yes, it is "buyer beware". But is that really all of the care or concern we’re capable of expressing for the 19,000 members? I would never say such things to my friends, family or kids. This community is a sort of family and friends. Rude, “IMO”, is choosing to not choose at all – member, moderator or owner. Perhaps members on here care more than you might have imagined. There is nothing wrong with site rules and adhering to them. However, scolding and extinguishing posts created to help others sends a message with a distinct and distasteful flavor.

By the way, even the terraristik.com site has at least a page devoted to scammers, or a blacklist: www.terraristik.com schwarze Liste - black list - scammers list (http://www.terraristik.com/tb/black_list.php)

Riverside Reptiles
02-25-2010, 03:44 PM
Jon, it's nice to see that you are so passionate about this issue. Every time there's been a "scammer" post, you've been quick to jump feet first into it. So perhaps you could best serve the gecko/herp community by starting a "BOI type" site of your own. I too find the BOI a horrible place with moderators likened to wolves with drooling mouths waiting for their next victim to pounce upon. Jerry Springer-like is one of the better analogies I've heard for it. I also found the recent "people need to pay up or I'm going to shut it down" attitude of it's owner to be despicable. I would love to see you, or one of the other people that seem so passionate about the slew of scammers, take charge and create a whole new concept in protecting the public from them. I'm certain that the GU community, Marty, and myself would be happy to get behind such a site and help to make it successful. You'll find no argument from anyone around here that it would be helpful. But it needs to be independent and stand alone from this site. So please, please do get the ball rolling on such a site. It would benefit us all here at GU as well as everyone else in the herp community. I'm certain that you could build something that could far exceed what BOI provides or what GU would be able to do as well. I fully encourage you to take your passion and desire to protect the community, and, instead of just talking about it, you should do something with it. Make it happen man!

As for calling into question how much we here at GU "care about the community"...I think that we provide a HUGE amount of services to this community absolutely free of charge. Unfortunately, it seems that the more you give, the more people want to take. No matter all that we provide already, it's apparently not enough in some people's eyes. Now we somehow "owe it" to the community to also police all of the sales and transactions of geckos as well? There's not a single person involved in this site making a dime off of it. Marty pays out of his pocket to keep this thing up and running for the community. And I donate all of my time as do all of the other moderators. It's sad really that that's still not enough "caring about the community" to make some of you happy.