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Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Sun May 26 2013 00:07:23

LiveWorld Will Cease Moderating eBay Discussion Boards

By: Ina Steiner
Sponsored Link
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:
(
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.
http://pages.ebay.com/help/policies/everyone-boards.html
Again, we value your participation in the forums, and we appreciate your support.
Regards,
(name)
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).



Comments (51) | Leave Comment | Permalink
Readers Comments

Perminate Link for LiveWorld Will Cease Moderating eBay Discussion Boards   LiveWorld Will Cease Moderating eBay Discussion Boards
This user has validated their user name. by: Marie
       
Sun May 26 02:37:39 2013
Well it certainly will be interesting on how this plays out.  I personally don't get on the forums very often.  I haven't for a very long time.  I noticed when they started that off topic policy, things got even worse on the threads.

While I understand what they were trying to do, it was the way they applied it that was really strange.  
Perminate Link for LiveWorld Will Cease Moderating eBay Discussion Boards   LiveWorld Will Cease Moderating eBay Discussion Boards
This user has validated their user name. by: The End
       
Sun May 26 12:43:48 2013
THANK GOD !
It's like the Red Coats have retreated.
I can hear the Liberty Bell ringing :o)
The SHACKLES are magically flying off our hands !
Now the only thing that remains is for sellers to be allowed to say in their listings "Postal Money Orders and Checks ONLY - NO PayPal! "
Then it will be a truly great thing.
Perminate Link for LiveWorld Will Cease Moderating eBay Discussion Boards   LiveWorld Will Cease Moderating eBay Discussion Boards
by: Patricia This user has validated their user name.
       
Sun May 26 15:05:17 2013
I stop into the discussion boards now and then but they are dead compared to what they used to be.  My favorite was the art and artist board but the artists are mostly gone and all that's left are a bunch of dumpster diver sellers looking to see if what they have is a real Picasso!  Sorry to sound harsh since I'm also a seller but that's just what's going on with that board.
Perminate Link for LiveWorld Will Cease Moderating eBay Discussion Boards   LiveWorld Will Cease Moderating eBay Discussion Boards
This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford
       
Sun May 26 18:03:55 2013
It is pure entertainment when two know-it-all bullies go at each other on the eBay discussion boards.

I also marvel at how when a poster simply asks a question, their entire business is analyzed. They are given unsolicited advice on every aspect of what they are doing wrong with their business--their listings, their pricing, their photos, etc.  The advice given is not even remotely relevant to the OP's question.
Perminate Link for LiveWorld Will Cease Moderating eBay Discussion Boards   LiveWorld Will Cease Moderating eBay Discussion Boards
by: AngelaTC This user has validated their user name.
       
Sun May 26 23:57:34 2013
Agree with Rexford 100%.  I hang out on The HOW Cafe, which has some sellers left over from the OTWA boards.

Ina, your forums bother me because some posters use huge fonts, and have signatures longer than their posts.  I hate to whine, but that's why I don't post there.  
Perminate Link for LiveWorld Will Cease Moderating eBay Discussion Boards   LiveWorld Will Cease Moderating eBay Discussion Boards
by: alaska This user has validated their user name.
       
Mon May 27 00:14:16 2013
Isn't it just like eBay to hire a firm to monitor the boards instead of reading the boards themselves to find out what problems people are having with their site?
Perminate Link for LiveWorld Will Cease Moderating eBay Discussion Boards   LiveWorld Will Cease Moderating eBay Discussion Boards
by: PowerSeller2007 This user has validated their user name.
       
Mon May 27 00:21:33 2013
LiveWorld and ebay colludes to promote mis-information to buyers and sellers.

Ebay sent pinks to harass buyers and sellers telling the truth.

Ebay pinks abused their power by shutting down sellers stores because they could not stop sellers from revealing the truth.

LiveWorld is ebay conduit to LIE WORLD!
Perminate Link for LiveWorld Will Cease Moderating eBay Discussion Boards   LiveWorld Will Cease Moderating eBay Discussion Boards
This user has validated their user name. by: elpereles
       
Mon May 27 00:48:43 2013
If someone hire a company to manage their forum or make so strange design. I will believe in controversy and conspiracy theories.

I don't navigate in eBay forums, but their reputation is bad.

For Bonz forums. If you liked the forum, but believe, followed, and promoted the ''Negative Atmosphere'' campaign and get foolish by the ''survey''. You are responsible of its death.

@Ina Steiner, I have been some years in forums not related to sales, eBay, etc. If an employee from a little company take his time to read and attack somebody comments or the person. I will not be surprise with high level companies.
Perminate Link for LiveWorld Will Cease Moderating eBay Discussion Boards   LiveWorld Will Cease Moderating eBay Discussion Boards
by: Digmen1 This user has validated their user name.
       Web Site
Mon May 27 05:20:37 2013
So who will moderate their forums ?

I sued to post on them, but found it too hard to navigate and to open to having threads pulled and bing banned etc for vocin my opnion.

Bonanza forums are just as bad.

And ebid fourms are also liekly to remoev threads.

To my mind all forums should allow all posts except those which are abusive to other members,or contain foul language or racism.

Perminate Link for LiveWorld Will Cease Moderating eBay Discussion Boards   LiveWorld Will Cease Moderating eBay Discussion Boards
by: GazLanNaThai This user has validated their user name.
       
Mon May 27 05:51:22 2013
Ina and several ecommercebytes readers know of my long running problems with eBay forums, but I think the best summary statement came in 2007 from my powerseller support rep at eBay, "Liveworld? What is that?  I've never heard of it.  Are you sure you don't mean LiveHelp?"
Perminate Link for LiveWorld Will Cease Moderating eBay Discussion Boards   LiveWorld Will Cease Moderating eBay Discussion Boards
by: Momspennies This user has validated their user name.
       
Mon May 27 07:37:06 2013
Good Morning Ina,
I am confused. The article that linked to this page was in reference to the Bonanza Forums being changed dramatically from what it was, and We are glad to have a place to comment, but wish that it would have linked to a discussion strictly about the Bonanza Forums.

For those who may not know this, Bonanza was not just a selling site to a group of probably 500 active members who participated in their forums. It was also a community. A family of sorts. And when Bonz decided to close all those forums down, they in effect broke up the community. Or at least, they tried to.

Bonanza was effectively built by, for, and through the efforts of this community. Many have come and gone, but the community is what kept many sellers there even when issues that kept us from being able to sell were going on. I have never seen a group of sellers like this before on any other site. Not to say there aren't any, I've just never seen it to the extent that was on Bonz'z forums.

Much of the community now seems lost. Everyone is looking for answers. Just to look at the new page layout shows that it has no longer become useful.

I know we can't always know what is going on in Corporate America, companies make decisions like this all the time, and somewhere down the road, it becomes evident as to why they did this. Maybe that's the case here? But after being a forum participant for 4.5 years and making over 26,000 posts there... for the life of me, I can't see how this was a good thing. But what's done is done. Will it hurt Bonanza in the long run? We may never know, even if it were to close down someday, we would never know if it was related. I do know that the sellers are not happy. And the community feel is gone, but carries on elsewhere.

Personally, I feel a great sense of loss because of all the technical information, memorials, friendly conversations, and stories that have been discussed there are soon to be no more than dust in the wind. Just as the old category forums are. Bonanza, as I said in the beginning was more that just a selling site. It was a community. I feel like someone just came in to our neighborhood with a bulldozer and went up and down each street, knocking down all our houses. Houses WE built.
Perminate Link for LiveWorld Will Cease Moderating eBay Discussion Boards   LiveWorld Will Cease Moderating eBay Discussion Boards
by: ewegolf This user has validated their user name.
       
Mon May 27 08:03:23 2013
@elpereles. You provide an excellent example of what I quickly learned on the Bonanza Forums when I registered three years ago. Anything that was not the party line was considered negative. Did you ever question why seller participation was so incredibly low on the Forums? Many sellers do not wish to be a blind faith bobblehead cheerleader. I'm not saying that you were but to eliminate the Forums because of a perceived two percent "negative" content was a very poor move.
Perminate Link for LiveWorld Will Cease Moderating eBay Discussion Boards   LiveWorld Will Cease Moderating eBay Discussion Boards
by: EKE This user has validated their user name.
       
Mon May 27 10:18:20 2013
Oh, my gosh. These sites have really become The Soup Nazi. We watched that Seinfeld episode yesterday.

They'd better hire an army of police to walk the streets, because there's plenty of bad talk out there. You engage in horrible Ebay discussions wherever you go these days.

That said, though, the bullies in the Ebay forums have been notorious brutes. Self-appointed know it alls that rip sellers to shreds. New members in the PS boards are referred to as "Fresh Meat." That about says it all.
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by: kzeeman This user has validated their user name.
       
Mon May 27 11:42:36 2013
The " Fresh Meat " logo is a joke for long time boardies. It is meant to imply to not take yourself too seriously. I have supported Ebay and trashed Ebay on the boards and never had a problem. Yes there is lots of junk and bullies but tell me how that is different than everyday life. I do agree with those that say Ebay should monitor their own boards. It is mostly wining and complaining but there are also some excellent information on them along with a general sense of how Ebayers are feeling.
Perminate Link for LiveWorld Will Cease Moderating eBay Discussion Boards   LiveWorld Will Cease Moderating eBay Discussion Boards
by: minibeesknees This user has validated their user name.
       
Mon May 27 11:44:43 2013
I'm am...or was...probably one of the analyzers on the stores board...the only one I was involved in.  But...I have moved on anyway and prefer the Facebook page some of us have relocated to.
Perminate Link for LiveWorld Will Cease Moderating eBay Discussion Boards   LiveWorld Will Cease Moderating eBay Discussion Boards
This user has validated their user name. by: TheUglySweaterShop
       Web Site
Mon May 27 13:36:25 2013
I "did time" on eBay's clothing board, a place filled with people who told me I couldn't do what I've been successfully doing for 4 years now. I wouldn't go back if they paid me!
Perminate Link for LiveWorld Will Cease Moderating eBay Discussion Boards   LiveWorld Will Cease Moderating eBay Discussion Boards
This user has validated their user name. by: TheUglySweaterShop
       Web Site
Mon May 27 13:40:52 2013
And to add, the "business critique experts" that Rexford mentioned are not just on eBay. I see that happen all the time on the ecrater forums. I asked a question about shipping once and was pounced on, told not to market my sweaters as "ugly", nobody will ever buy them, blah blah blah.

I notice it is the same people who are always also complaining about how "slow" their stores are. I guess they have more free time on their hands than successful sellers. ;-)
Perminate Link for LiveWorld Will Cease Moderating eBay Discussion Boards   LiveWorld Will Cease Moderating eBay Discussion Boards
by: Opalie This user has validated their user name.
       
Mon May 27 14:25:35 2013
Perhaps we can hope that at the very least we will no longer receive board violations for ''hate speech'' for saying ''Hi'' or ''Happy Birthday''?

I have a sinking feeling though that we will be saying ''better the devil you know'' in the not too distant future,

For the poster that thinks the Fresh Meat posts on PSDB are rough, you need to develop a sense of humor.  
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This user has validated their user name. by: elpereles
       Web Site
Mon May 27 15:35:58 2013
I believe every forum must have an objective/reason, organization (design), rules, and moderation. If the forum it just to ''promote'' your company/product in a ''positive controlled'' atmosphere. Avoid hiding it under a ''fellowship'' or community or support forum.  
Perminate Link for LiveWorld Will Cease Moderating eBay Discussion Boards   LiveWorld Will Cease Moderating eBay Discussion Boards
by: MONK This user has validated their user name.
       Web Site
Mon May 27 18:19:02 2013
Better the devil you know than the devil you don't.

For years ebay has mined information from the boards. For years ebay has manipulated content on the board via heavy handed editing and imposters that are paid to tote the ebay line.

Yet no good will come of the change. No good ever came of a change made by ebay. A company that can't even capitolize it's own name.
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