|Sun May 26 2013 00:07:23|
LiveWorld Will Cease Moderating eBay Discussion Boards
By: Ina Steiner
The eBay forums have had their share of controversy over the years right up until today, including one long-lasting debate over the company eBay hired to moderate the forums on its behalf. But as of this summer, it looks like LiveWorld will no longer have the eBay contract.
Over the years, there have been numerous reports that LiveWorld heavily censored the boards, with some unhappy users accusing the company of spreading eBay propaganda and using "trolls" and "sock puppets" to target users who were too critical of the marketplace. Many an EcommerceBytes reader has forwarded a letter they received that goes like this:
Hello (user id),
We appreciate your participation in the eBay Community Center. We are writing to let you know that we removed the following post:
(title of thread)
In order for the community center, which is based on the eBay Community Values, to be a place where all members can feel comfortable interacting with each other, there are certain types of posts we remove when they are reported to us. The guidelines for posting in the forums are defined in the Board Usage Policy. Your post was removed for the following reason:
We understand that most posts that are removed were not intentional violations. We invite you to take some time to review the Board Usage Policy via the following URL for clarification about the types of posts that we do not allow.
Again, we value your participation in the forums, and we appreciate your support.
eBay Moderation Team
eBay is not alone in attracting both controversy and conspiracy theories about discussion boards: Etsy's changes to its forums in 2011 were controversial, and it's planning more changes, and Bonanza just rolled out changes to its boards.
We haven't heard what eBay is planning for its discussion boards this summer - should it hire another contractor to moderate the boards, should it moderate the boards itself? And if eBay scales back its forums as its smaller counterparts have done, how will that impact you? What do you think of other marketplace discussion boards?
If you miss having a place to chat with your colleagues, you're always welcome on the EcommerceBytes forums - and you won't have to speak in code when you reference marketplaces, such as River (Amazon), Ranch (Bonanza) and Bay (eBay).