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Mod Post- New Rule

New Rule: Do not contact vendors regarding other people's negative experiences.

We have over 3,500 members in our community, which makes this place an amazing resource for planning your wedding. We provide do-it-yourself guides, centerpiece tips, oogle over beautiful wedding dresses, and tell you which vendors you should use or which you shouldn't touch with a ten foot pole.

In order to protect the community, the members, the vendors, and any businesses involved, we request that you do not contact vendors regarding other people's negative experiences.

What does this mean?

You are still allowed to:
  • Post negative reviews of vendors. Tell us your experiences- good or bad- so we can learn from them.

  • Comment on negative reviews of vendors. You think that guy is an asshole? Think that the woman should be more professional? Hit the "toast the couple" link and comment on the post!

  • Contact vendors regarding positive experiences with members of this community. Example: "Hi, ____ raved about you in an online forum and I'm interested in your services! Are you available on [my wedding day] to do my [photography, videography, DJing, chair delivery, feed me plz]?"

  • Contact vendors on behalf of the negative experience YOU have received. It's your wedding and if you feel you've been treated unfairly by vendors, by all means, let them know it.


  • You are NOT allowed to:
  • Contact the vendor on behalf of the original poster and let the vendor know what you think about his/her services.

  • Contact the any of the vendor's associates or the BBB on behalf of the OP.


  • Why are we doing this?
  • To protect you. If you write a scathing review of a photographer, for example, and many people get so upset over his actions that they send him hate mail, that probably isn't going to make him very happy with you, the person who wrote the bad review. Think about it: most vendors know your name, your wedding date, your wedding location, and your contact info. That's a LOT of info that someone who has suddenly become your enemy now has access to. Not only can the vendor e-mail you and tell you what a horrible person you are for ripping him a new asshole all over the internets, but he can also provoke you by phone, e-mail, show up at your home, or show up to your wedding unannounced. Yes, it sounds a little far-fetched, but you'd be surprised what people do when they're pissed off.

  • To protect us. If our community members are seeking out and harassing, demeaning, disrespecting and defaming vendors whom they don't have any experience with, we can be responsible for slander, libel and/or defamation of character. I'm not suggesting that anything we've posted in the past falls into this category and I'm hoping that nothing in the future does, either. But it's definitely something we need to be aware of. Harassment that stems from weddingplans, whether provoked or unprovoked, will not be tolerated.
  • To protect the vendors. Guys, this isn't like spreading rumors about the promiscuity of your former BFF in high school. Vendors are vendors because that's their job; their livelihood. This is how they pay their bills, put food on their table, go on vacation, and live (hopefully) happy lives. You don't f*ck with someone's job unless it's serious. And if it's *that* serious, the original poster, the person who has ACTUALLY HAD CONTACT WITH THE VENDOR should do the complaining, alerting the bosses and BBB, etc. Let me state that again: Unless you have actually had previous contact with the vendor OUTSIDE of this altercation, you should NOT make contact. Do we have the right to judge someone's actions based on our limited knowledge to the point of possibly ruining someone's career? No. It's also extremely disrespectful and rude to hunt someone down just to tell them off. We will not tolerate witch hunts fueled by rabid brides.


  • Anyone who is caught contacting vendors on someone else's behalf about negative experience will get ONE warning. Do it again and you'll be banned from this community. We will start enforcement immediately, but the rules will not be applied retroactively to comments or posts that have already been made.

    Questions? Comments? Concerns? Complaints? Let me know.

    Although I wish it was, this is NOT an April Fool's Day joke.

    Comments

    fireyirishangel
    Apr. 2nd, 2008 01:30 am (UTC)
    I was suggesting that friends-locking posts was an assurance of privacy or safety...

    much like making a rule in an internet community policing what people do outside of said community is no guarantee to control the actions of other people.

    I don't disagree with the principle or the rule, regardless of my part in the fiasco earlier. I just think it's unrealistic. But you guys have to do what you have to do, in the best interest of the community. I hope it's successful.
    lizzie
    Apr. 2nd, 2008 01:33 am (UTC)
    It may be unrealistic. But it's worth a shot, right? :-)
    fireyirishangel
    Apr. 2nd, 2008 01:34 am (UTC)
    Anything is!

    Like I said, I hope it works. I certainly wouldn't want anything to backfire on any brides here, or put the community in jeopardy.

    I just take a personal issue with policing a group of adults in their actions outside of a community. But that's not for me to decide, and I get that - it's your job, not mine.
    blizzardbebe
    Apr. 2nd, 2008 01:36 am (UTC)
    I just take a personal issue with policing a group of adults in their actions outside of a community. But that's not for me to decide, and I get that - it's your job, not mine.

    my point exactly. i'm surprised more people aren't commenting on it.
    lizzie
    Apr. 2nd, 2008 01:39 am (UTC)
    When the safety of our members or our community is at stake, it becomes our problem to deal with. This is the best way we know how to deal with it. We hope that our members are mature enough *not* to do this to begin with, but at this point...we have to make the rule so we have the right to protect everyone we can.
    fireyirishangel
    Apr. 2nd, 2008 01:41 am (UTC)
    I think it may be that a number of people can imagine being in the shoes of the original poster and potentially having to deal with an angry vendor. Or some are just a more agreeable sort than I am :)
    wateringrocks
    Apr. 2nd, 2008 02:24 am (UTC)
    my concern for the mods is that from what i've seen, if an online community commits something unlawful, it's the mods who take the fall. for example (although not the same obviously): here in toronto recently, a group of college students had a study group on facebook. the professor found out about it and although there were almost 200 students in the group, only the mod was reprimanded (and nearly expelled!). none of the other students were punished at all.
    lizzie
    Apr. 2nd, 2008 11:53 am (UTC)
    Precisely. If nothing else, this at least covers our butts if anything else should happen. Although hopefully it won't happen again. Honestly, this really doesn't come up that often to begin with- there have been very, very few times when brides get so worked up that they e-mail someone else's vendor. So this shouldn't be that big of a deal in the first place.
    (no subject) - fireyirishangel - Apr. 2nd, 2008 12:00 pm (UTC) - Expand
    annabelle_blue
    Apr. 2nd, 2008 11:33 am (UTC)
    I just wanted to chime in on a mod side as well. I don't mod here, obviously, but I do mod a community in which there has been much turmoil created by the actions of one of our members. The community I moderate has well over 2000 members. It happened not only in my community, but in several topic-related communities as well. Well, sure enough, the actions of this community member came right back to me and our group, causing me weeks worth of extra work to make sure that I, personally, was not considered liable for some of the outside damage that occurred. LJ is usually pretty friendly about this, but when it comes to someone's professional reputation, or business, etc. there are a lot of things that are on the line - not just the free speech of one community member.

    Anyway, I just wanted to chime in as "someone who has been there" to say that I am sure that our mods here don't want one more "thing" to have to deal with, but they certainly don't need to go through what I, and several other moderators, have been through in the last month, simply because of one whacko who inadvertently "ruined it for the rest of us."

    I had to change and add rules due to the actions of this person. The bottom line is that mods have their personal assets on the line, and truthfully, this rule doesn't mean that kageneko and lizzie are truly policing anyone's actions. They are simply covering their asses and reminding people to think a little. Now, if someone who perhaps needed that policing does something stupid, they have no problem showing they are not liable. And believe me, it's a headache I wish on no one.
    lizzie
    Apr. 2nd, 2008 12:12 pm (UTC)
    Thanks for this. :-) The last thing Kristie and I need is for someone to come after us for an action that we didn't commit.

    I've been a mod here for nearly two years and the problem of e-mailing vendors on behalf of someone else's negative experience has only happened twice that I can think of. It's not something that happens very often, so it shouldn't be a big deal to say "We're not willing to allow this to happen again."
    (no subject) - annabelle_blue - Apr. 2nd, 2008 12:15 pm (UTC) - Expand
    whitneythegreat
    Apr. 2nd, 2008 01:41 am (UTC)
    I just take a personal issue with policing a group of adults in their actions outside of a community.

    Honestly I don't think they can fully expect to have people never pull this again, however, this rule can make it so hopefully less people would show off their emails to a bad vendor, which can open the floodgates to "Oh, I'm going to email them too!"
    fireyirishangel
    Apr. 2nd, 2008 01:42 am (UTC)
    Oh, I understand the point. I really do. I may not agree with the basic principle of it, but I do understand the Mods' perspective and why they're doing it. And, as I said, I do hope it works, for the protection of everyone.
    lizzie
    Apr. 2nd, 2008 01:48 am (UTC)
    I hope it works, too. :-) Even though you disagree with it, I'm glad you at least understand our perspective. Thanks for feeling comfortable enough to express your opinion (and do it respectfully, to boot!).

    Edited at 2008-04-02 01:48 am (UTC)
    (no subject) - fireyirishangel - Apr. 2nd, 2008 12:07 pm (UTC) - Expand
    lizzie
    Apr. 2nd, 2008 01:47 am (UTC)
    this rule can make it so hopefully less people would show off their emails to a bad vendor, which can open the floodgates to "Oh, I'm going to email them too!"

    That's exactly it. From my experience, when several people agree, they can work each other up and make something a bigger deal than it is and decide to take action against something that separately, they would never do. :-)
    whitneythegreat
    Apr. 2nd, 2008 01:48 am (UTC)
    Yeah - I would have NEVER thought of emailing a vendor who was rude to someone else. But once I saw a ton of other people doing it? Well, it crossed my mind at least a little.

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