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Author Topic: Where has my thread gone?  (Read 19235 times)

Offline Im a Geek on the Edge

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Where has my thread gone?
« on: 10/08/2009 10:06:51 »
Last night I posted a question about computer IP addresses, ie what are they and what do they identify? I confessed that 2 or 3 years ago during a brief flirtation with selling things on ebay I once got caught bidding on one of my own items using two ebay accounts. Ever since then ebay has somehow known who I am and every six months or so shuts my present account just as I am building up a good feedback score as a buyer. I wondered how they knew. I have used different email addresses, primary home addresses, and have even changed my computer a couple of times during this period.

On my missing thread someone suggested that they should not answer the question as it would encourage me to ‘scam’ people on ebay. Of course this is ridiculous and, in any case, I have no real interest in selling on ebay. It was far more trouble than it was worth and the real scammers in my opinion are ebay and PayPal  (who are owned by ebay) who between them take about 10 or 15%.

When I got up this morning my emails are telling me that I have had replies but do not tell me what they are. The thread is gone and seems to have been deleted. But I have no messages telling me why.

Have the ebay police got to this site? Has some ebay fan been offended that I was once caught bidding against myself on ebay and had me banned. Has something else happened on the thread while I was in bed which I have no knowledge about? Why would anyone delete my question but not tell me why?


 

Offline BenV

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« Reply #1 on: 10/08/2009 11:02:32 »
The moderators decided that as you were clearly in breach of ebay's regulations, and we do not want to encourage that , to delete your thread.  Usually, a message is sent but may have been missed this time.  I'm sorry that no-one informed you of the decision.

Might I suggest you ask the question again without mentioning the fact that you were caught out scamming ebay?
 

Offline Im a Geek on the Edge

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« Reply #2 on: 10/08/2009 11:22:32 »
Ok Ben. Thanks for telling me the score. I'll try to be more careful in future.

Now that I've had my wrist slapped, should I delete this thread also and start again another time?
 

Offline Im a Geek on the Edge

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« Reply #3 on: 10/08/2009 11:23:51 »
Actually, I think you've already covered that point. Doh!  [:-[]
 

Offline graham.d

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« Reply #4 on: 04/03/2010 12:52:03 »
"I have used different email addresses, primary home addresses, and have even changed my computer a couple of times during this period." - IAGOTE

If multiple records are kept the only way to break the continuity of detection would be to change all of them at the same time. I am not giving assent to breaking the law here, but I think that people should generally be aware of the lack of anonymity there is to any large organisation with a desire and capability to find out who you are. If you had a fixed IP address this would have been traceable and I would also guess that registering would have entailed accepting a cookie or two. The only other methods, if all these are avoided, would be with the cooperation of your Internet Service Provider, but these guys generally won't give out such info except to law enforcement officers of some sort.

By the way, I don't see how bidding for your own items is scamming anyone. It happens quite a bit in auctions (sometimes by proxy). People don't have to increase their offers and if it doesn't sell as a result, you still pay a small fee to ebay. It is obviously against their rules though and that these would have to be agreed to in advance. It is certainly misleading people into thinking there is more interest in the product being sold than is the case (and there are plenty of examples of this by large corporations), but my limited experience of ebay is that experienced buyers time their bids to the closing seconds so leaving little opportunity.
 

Offline Im a Geek on the Edge

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« Reply #5 on: 19/03/2010 12:21:05 »
Thank you graham-d

I am aware that I did nothing against the law. I'm not sure that I even did anything immoral. Hyping up interest in your own auction seems like good marketing to me and people pay what they consider a product is worth. Surely it doesn't matter if you start the auction at £1.00 and then bid it up to a fiver or start it at £5.00. The only difference is that you make it look as though there are other people interested in it. It's a bit like a good market vendor whipping up a crowd with humorous banter to make it appear as though lots of people are buying from him.

I was a bit surprised, not to mention disappointed, that this site would start deleting my thread because I mentioned once contravening ebay rules some years previously.

By the way, last week I parked my oversized van across two parking spaces in Tesco's carpark. This clearly contravenes Tesco's rules. Am I going to have this thread deleted also?
 
« Last Edit: 19/03/2010 13:15:24 by Im a Geek on the Edge »
 

Offline daveshorts

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« Reply #6 on: 28/03/2010 14:16:17 »
No that is imoral, because a fair amount of what people will pay for an item is to do with what it is worth, and what it is worth is to do with what other people are willing to pay for it. Hence bidding up you own item is giving the impression that your item is worth more than it is.
 

Offline Variola

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« Reply #7 on: 28/03/2010 21:14:21 »
It is not immoral, immoral would be flogging something that you know is faulty or not how you describe it. Although I would still consider immoral to be the wrong word.
As it is, if you are selling something on ebay, and you bid up your own bids, it is still someone else's choice whether to buy it or not, it does not affect the item itself. There is no compulsion for anyone to bid on an item or to buy it, unless they end up with the winning bid. 
It is against ebay rules because they have to protect their buyers. that's all.
 

Offline daveshorts

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« Reply #8 on: 28/03/2010 22:14:50 »
Quote
It is against ebay rules because they have to protect their buyers. that's all.

So burglary is just against the rules to protect the property owners...
Cheating on your taxes is just against the rules to protect all the other tax payers.
Murder is just against the rules to protect the murder victims...

Surely this statement indicates that it is immoral. The rules that everyone is playing to assume that people don't bid up their own auctions.

 If bidding up your own auctions increases the price things sell for, then you are breaking the rules of the game for your own financial gain. If it wasn't against the rules then it wouldn't be immoral.

It is exactly the same as photoshopping the photos of it, you are giving the impression that it is a more valuable item than it actually is.
« Last Edit: 28/03/2010 22:17:10 by daveshorts »
 

Offline Variola

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« Reply #9 on: 28/03/2010 22:53:14 »
Quote
So burglary is just against the rules to protect the property owners...
Cheating on your taxes is just against the rules to protect all the other tax payers.
Murder is just against the rules to protect the murder victims...   
   


I am yet to find legislation that states "Ebay members must not bid up their auctions" 
You cannot make a poor comparison like that!!  ::)
Laws are based on what is beneficial for the majority, and those are usually what society accepts as morals.


Quote
Surely this statement indicates that it is immoral. The rules that everyone is playing to assume that people don't bid up their own auctions.   

No it indicates you have compared what is actually law and the rules of an auction site.
What about putting a house up for sale with 5K over what it's worth, just because you know a buyer will try and bring you down a bit, is that immoral? Or how about telling the buyer you have had other offers when you haven't just to make them more keen or get them to offer more money?? There is no difference in those terms between selling a house and selling a DVD on ebay. It is all about choice, no one has to buy anything but people don't generally get a choice whether they are burgled or murdered as your post references to.


Quote
  If bidding up your own auctions increases the price things sell for, then you are breaking the rules of the game for your own financial gain. If it wasn't against the rules then it wouldn't be immoral. 

It is not a game, it is an online auction site.  ::) Rules to not equate morality, I am not quite sure where you are getting that idea from.
 
Quote
t is exactly the same as photoshopping the photos of it, you are giving the impression that it is a more valuable item than it actually is. 

Yes it is called business. It goes on all the time in various areas of society, does not mean it is morally wrong. As I have stated, no one is required to buy anything, if you buy something 2nd hand without seeing it, you take a risk, we all know that. If we get stung then Ebay rules are there to help, although how effective they are is another matter.





 

Offline John Chapman

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« Reply #10 on: 28/03/2010 23:17:45 »

what it is worth is to do with what other people are willing to pay for it.


No, that's not right. By definition, what an item is worth to you is what YOU are willing to pay for it. If someone was incredibly thirsty and therefore prepared to pay £10.00 for a can of coke would you then be willing to pay the same?

Next you will be saying that writing a cleverly worded and attractive ebay description is immoral because it would make one product appear to be more valuable than an identical product being sold by someone who hasn't described it well. Do you believe that all clever and creative marketing is immoral?

But that apart, why would you want to delete someone's thread because they admitted to once contravening one of ebay's policies. That's a bit judgemental, don't you think? Are you part of the ebay police?
 

Offline daveshorts

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« Reply #11 on: 29/03/2010 08:36:29 »
I am yet to find legislation that states "Ebay members must not bid up their auctions" 
You cannot make a poor comparison like that!!  ::)
Laws are based on what is beneficial for the majority, and those are usually what society accepts as morals.
There is nothing special about legislation, it is just a series of rules that we agree to live by. Just like rules we agree to use ebay by. Morally if anything the ebay rules are more important as you have entered an agreement to live by them when you sign up.

Quote
No it indicates you have compared what is actually law and the rules of an auction site.
What about putting a house up for sale with 5K over what it's worth, just because you know a buyer will try and bring you down a bit, is that immoral?
This is not lying it is just part of getting a higher price.

Quote
Or how about telling the buyer you have had other offers when you haven't just to make them more keen or get them to offer more money??
This is lying, and yes arguably fraud, and definitely immoral

Quote
 It is not a game, it is an online auction site.  ::) Rules to not equate morality, I am not quite sure where you are getting that idea from.

Ok then you are breaking the rules of the site for your own financial gain, what on earth is the difference???? It is immoral because if noone does it then everyone will be better off and happier. By breaking them you are making someone else less well off and yourself better off by lying. How is making yourself better off by lying and breaking the rules not immoral?
 
Quote
Yes it is called business. It goes on all the time in various areas of society, does not mean it is morally wrong. As I have stated, no one is required to buy anything, if you buy something 2nd hand without seeing it, you take a risk, we all know that. If we get stung then Ebay rules are there to help, although how effective they are is another matter.
Why can it not morally wrong if it is a common business practice? Slavery was a common business practice for thousands of years, and I hope you agree that was immoral.
 

Offline daveshorts

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« Reply #12 on: 29/03/2010 08:39:35 »

No, that's not right. By definition, what an item is worth to you is what YOU are willing to pay for it. If someone was incredibly thirsty and therefore prepared to pay £10.00 for a can of coke would you then be willing to pay the same?

No the market value of an object is not just about what the most enthusiastic buyer is willing to pay, if there are N objects it is what the Nth most enthusiastic buyer is willing to pay.

Quote
Next you will be saying that writing a cleverly worded and attractive ebay description is immoral because it would make one product appear to be more valuable than an identical product being sold by someone who hasn't described it well. Do you believe that all clever and creative marketing is immoral?
If it is lying then it is both immoral and fraud.
 

Offline Variola

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« Reply #13 on: 29/03/2010 09:15:25 »
Quote
There is nothing special about legislation, it is just a series of rules that we agree to live by. Just like rules we agree to use ebay by. Morally if anything the ebay rules are more important as you have entered an agreement to live by them when you sign up.
   

Legislation is special, laws are ( generally/loosely) based on morals, and things we find morally unacceptable. This is not always the case, because many laws that exist people do not view as morally wrong, such as copying a CD onto tape for a friend.
Ah now I noticed you use the term 'live by;...when people tick the ebay rules box, they agree to behave and abide by ebay rules, that is not a moral code to live by in the same way legislation is, which is what you were comparing it too, the rules are not enforced by ebay police ready to arrest us!


Quote
This is not lying it is just part of getting a higher price.
 

Quote
This is lying, and yes arguably fraud, and definitely immoral 


So how does implying that there is more interest in object than their actually is any different?
Lying does not exclusively mean immorality, you seem to be basing your argument on that. Surely your knowledge of ethics is deeper than that???  ???

Quote
k then you are breaking the rules of the site for your own financial gain, what on earth is the difference???? It is immoral because if noone does it then everyone will be better off and happier. By breaking them you are making someone else less well off and yourself better off by lying. How is making yourself better off by lying and breaking the rules not immoral?
   

Everyone will be better off and happier? What about if you are selling off precious items on ebay to enable you to keep a roof over your head, because you have been made redundant? To have enough money to feed your family? Is it as immoral then to bump up the price a little? If you will insist on claiming something is immoral, then you have to look at how something is decided as immoral, it is not enough just to equate lying with immorality.

 
Quote
Why can it not morally wrong if it is a common business practice? Slavery was a common business practice for thousands of years, and I hope you agree that was immoral.   

Ah just because something is common, does not make it moral I agree. But you have to look much deeper to decide whether it is immoral, nothing is black and white.



 

Offline Make it Lady

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« Reply #14 on: 01/05/2010 21:23:05 »
If this item was sold in an actual auction you could stand in the room and bid on your own item without breaking any laws. psychologically it only works if you have a few people bidding. Sometimes the owner gets egg on their faces if they end up winning the bid as they have to pay commission. This can also happen on eBay as you have to pay the posting fee. I can't see the immoral side to this as it is a risky thing to do.
 

Offline rosy

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« Reply #15 on: 02/05/2010 14:29:15 »
If the seller has agreed to terms with the auctioneer/eBay that they will not bid up the item, and these terms are known by the purchaser, then the purchaser has a reasonable expectation that the seller will not do the thing they have explicitly agreed not to do.

If there were no such agreement, the seller bidding up would be entirely fair play. But that is not the situation on eBay. The seller enters into a contract, and that should be binding on them, in the same way that the purchaser enters into a contract, on bidding, to pay for the item if they win it.

I think it is wrong for a purchaser to bid on an item and then not buy it if they win, and in exactly the same way I think it is wrong for a seller to bid an item up whilst pretending not to. In both cases, I would consider the correct and fair response by eBay to exclude people not playing by the rules.
 

Offline daveshorts

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« Reply #16 on: 07/06/2010 12:30:12 »
I have also just discovered that in the UK shill bidding (on your own items) is actually illegal, and is sometimes prosecuted
 

Offline tommya300

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« Reply #17 on: 07/06/2010 13:32:37 »
Wow I never thought... Dave you opened my eye really wide to this subject

I have also just discovered that in the UK shill bidding (on your own items) is actually illegal, and is sometimes prosecuted

Wow it is a fact I would of thought it to be a shady business tactic but it is more darker than shade…

Question: Can my friends and family bid on my auctions?
To members unfamiliar with eBay and auctions, it can seem both innocent and logical to tell family members when an item is for sale, in the interest of giving them a chance to bid on and buy it. So is this okay with eBay?
Answer: No, absolutely not. Though the severity of this answer may startle some new eBay users, the practice of bidding on auctions placed by friends, family, or acquaintances is called shill bidding, and it's not only against eBay rules, it's also against the law—not just on eBay, but in any auction forum whether online or in the "real" world.


Definition: Shill bidding is the act of bidding on your own auction against other bidders in order to raise the price at which your item will eventually sell. It is a violation of both eBay rules and federal law.
Note that on eBay and in most real-life auctions, a bid on an item from anyone related to the seller in almost any way, from friends and family to business associates and roommates, is considered to be a shill bid, will not be honored, and will almost certainly disqualify the seller—even if the bidder would have purchased the item.

http://ebay.about.com/od/frequentlyaskedquestion1/f/faq_shill.htm

http://ebay.about.com/od/glossaryofebayterms/g/gl_shill.htm

It is really worth knowing the rules of engagement.


 

Offline John Chapman

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« Reply #18 on: 07/06/2010 19:33:09 »
In my opinion that's ridiculous. I can see there's a sort of 'insider trading' thing going on with friends and family but, if they are genuine buyers, why the hell not? It's propriety taken to it's extreme.

But we've got distracted here. Geeks original question wasn't about the morality of shill bidding or to what extent his attackers on this thread are pedantic, anal zealots! Or not (grudgingly included to avoid getting this post deleted as well)  ;D. It was asking why his thread had been deleted by the moderators. My understanding is that the original question mentioned the shill bidding thing in passing as incidental, background information. He stated that the ebay contravention had been about 3 years ago and that, since then, he had no interest in selling anything on ebay. Until today none of us realised that this WAS a criminal offense. It was a technical question about computer IP addresses and personal identifying information held online.

So why the heavy handed attitude by the moderators. If any of us mention contravening any other company's regulations can we also expect to have our threads deleted? And, if so, why was the first one deleted but this allowed to remain?

What the hell has it got to do with any of us, anyway? None of us, Mods or mortals, are moral arbitrators and it obviously it goes without saying that this site does not necessarily endorse the opinions of all it's 15,000 members. So why was it banned?

Personally, I would have liked to have seen what the other original contributors had to say.

So. If it's archived somewhere, why not put it back.
 
« Last Edit: 07/06/2010 22:53:11 by John Chapman »
 

Offline rosy

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« Reply #19 on: 07/06/2010 20:10:55 »
Quote
So. If it's archived somewhere, why not put it back.
Since we now do all know that shill bidding is illegal (in many jurisdictions, and crucially that within which TNS operates), it would hardly be in line with forum policy to re-instate the original post now, would it? Even if, to take a view not informed by benefit of hindsight, the removal of the post wasn't the correct reaction, that is now a moot point since the forum rules are very clear about not encouraging people to do things which are illegal.

If you want to know the answer to the question you have only to post it, shorn of any suggestion that you are planning to use the information you obtain to commit an offence, back in the appropriate area in the forum.

Quote
My understanding is that the original question mentioned the shill bidding thing in passing as incidental, background information. He stated that the ebay contravention had been about 3 years ago and that, since then, he had no interest in selling anything on ebay. Until today none of us realised that this WAS a criminal offense. It was a technical question about computer IP addresses and personal identifying information held online.
Your understanding is a misunderstanding. Even if that is what the original poster meant, it was not what the original post said.
 

Offline John Chapman

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« Reply #20 on: 07/06/2010 22:31:04 »
Hi Rosy

You've answered almost none of my questions. Very annoying. Have you ever thought about entering politics!  ;)

Since we now do all know that shill bidding is illegal (in many jurisdictions, and crucially that within which TNS operates), it would hardly be in line with forum policy to reinstate the original post now, would it?

Are you telling me that the forum has an official policy that if anyone mentions in passing that they have ever done anything illegal then the whole thread must be deleted? If not, then 'yes'.

Even if, to take a view not informed by benefit of hindsight, the removal of the post wasn't the correct reaction, that is now a moot point since the forum rules are very clear about not encouraging people to do things which are illegal.

Since Geek clearly stated that he had not sold on ebay for many years and had no interest in doing so why do you two keep banging on about encouraging people to do illegal things? Even disregarding that, that still doesn't explain why you [the Mods] removed the thread in the first place.

If you want to know the answer to the question you have only to post it, shorn of any suggestion that you are planning to use the information you obtain to commit an offence, back in the appropriate area in the forum.

There was no suggestion made that he was planning to use the information to commit an offense - not that any of us were even aware that it was an offence at the time.

Your understanding is a misunderstanding. Even if that is what the original poster meant, it was not what the original post said.

Now that's just not true, is it. You see Geek is my son. I saw the original question at the time and I have re-read his draft since. The story was given as background to give the original question context. The question very clearly said that the shill bidding occurred a couple of years previous to his original question, that he had no interest in selling on ebay. Since you will not re-post it and I am not allowed to quote it none of the other users will ever be able to decide for themselves.

In any case, you still haven't told me why this thread, which carries exactly the same information, is allowed to continue. Perhaps you will now ban this one also.
 
Geek is big enough to fight his own battles. I'm not even that bothered by heavy handed Moderators. We all have bad days and sometimes over react. But having been caught out why not just admit that one of you was a bit harsh on the day and maybe a bit of Moderators editing, or even a p.m., might have been more appropriate in hindsight.
 
 

Offline tommya300

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« Reply #21 on: 07/06/2010 23:04:27 »
 I never thought to associate insider bidding to shill bidding. Having learned something on some other poor soul’s expense, is sad!
 I do not think there are any international laws on Shill bidding, on such puny financial gains made on, such as ebay. I guess you are saved by international waters. So the worst thing that ebay can do is give you a future hard time.

Since I never dealt I did not think or know, that eBay’s rules of engagement, specify banning, just disqualification. Ebay police are judge, jury and executioner to their own site.

 All I can do is chalk it up human intuition, maybe lack of sleep, to a small essence of paranoia. This clearance prompted the matter be addressed real quick got someone’s attention. The matter was settled apologies were expressed.
 

Offline tommya300

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« Reply #22 on: 07/06/2010 23:14:15 »
Last night I posted a question about computer IP addresses, ie what are they and what do they identify? I confessed that 2 or 3 years ago during a brief flirtation with selling things on ebay I once got caught bidding on one of my own items using two ebay accounts. Ever since then ebay has somehow known who I am and every six months or so shuts my present account just as I am building up a good feedback score as a buyer. I wondered how they knew. I have used different email addresses, primary home addresses, and have even changed my computer a couple of times during this period.

On my missing thread someone suggested that they should not answer the question as it would encourage me to ‘scam’ people on ebay. Of course this is ridiculous and, in any case, I have no real interest in selling on ebay. It was far more trouble than it was worth and the real scammers in my opinion are ebay and PayPal  (who are owned by ebay) who between them take about 10 or 15%.

When I got up this morning my emails are telling me that I have had replies but do not tell me what they are. The thread is gone and seems to have been deleted. But I have no messages telling me why.

Have the ebay police got to this site? Has some ebay fan been offended that I was once caught bidding against myself on ebay and had me banned. Has something else happened on the thread while I was in bed which I have no knowledge about? Why would anyone delete my question but not tell me why?


I can only try to think outside the box, and surmise through deductive reasoning.
This one may have thin bulk…
You were nice and honest enough to spill you guts here, on the feedback scoring comments on ebay are a double edged sword you also can comment on the seller. You could of spilled a little sauce here and there and did not realize it; where the sum of all those may have triggered some relationship to initiate an ebay response?

This one has medium bulk…
An overhaul of ones internet profiling seems more like James Blondish. Ebay doesn’t have the time to cross reference all ISP, IP to client, like saying (WWW raised to infinity) in size. They would loose more than they can ever gain in profiting by this. For your computer to be recognized, I would think it would be sending out an internal beacon of some sort, initiated through some spyware, adware or virus. Working from inside out, the computer’s processor would be never idle and respond slow to any keyboard commands.



« Last Edit: 08/06/2010 00:21:26 by tommya300 »
 

Offline rosy

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« Reply #23 on: 08/06/2010 11:09:00 »
OK. John.

Several things happened here:

1- There was a response to a thread which may or may not have been heavy handed in the light of the information we had at the time. That's a matter of opinion on which we differ.

2- The mod in question apparently forgot to send Geek a message explaining the action - unlikely to have been a deliberate omission.

3- Geek posted a *seperate* question, about why his original thread was deleted. Which was a reasonable question, was answered in thread by BenV, Geek appeared to have accepted, if somewhat reluctantly, the explanation. I've no idea if he *did* repost his question, because I don't follow the tech boards.

I'm not answering questions on behalf of the mods. I'm only a mod on a technicality. I did glance at the original post last night before posting, because I can, but I wasn't involved in this decision. Also, since BenV had answered the question, the fact that the thread spiralled off into a more general discussion of the morality or otherwise of shill bidding hardly seems important and as I didn't know you had a personal interest in Geek's activities I thought you were merely joining in the more general discussion.

No, we don't delete threads just because people mention they've done something illegal/wrong in the past (you'll note indeed, that this one is still here). But if they appear to be explicitly seeking advice on doing something illegal in the future obviously we have to act. And that is how the original post was, rightly or wrongly, interpreted by the mods.

My comment last night was only in response your suggestion that we re-instate the thread, hence why I didn't answer all of your questions. No, I haven't thought of going into politics.

I hold my hand up to the fact that when I looked in the deleted post log last night and responded to your comments I found only the original post and not Geek's follow-up post in which he disclaimed any intention to attempt to repeat his shill-ing exploits, and maybe I would have been so abrupt had I seen it.

But my response with regard to whether re-instating the thread would be in breach of forum policy would not change.
 

Offline John Chapman

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Where has my thread gone?
« Reply #24 on: 09/06/2010 08:31:58 »
Hi Rosy

I don't think we are ever going to see eye to eye on this one. But for what it's worth that was a very well structured and diplomatic reply. And you managed to not go completely ballistic on me, which is a common reaction I get from women.  [8D]

Will you marry me?
 
 

The Naked Scientists Forum

Where has my thread gone?
« Reply #24 on: 09/06/2010 08:31:58 »

 

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