Saturday, July 23, 2011

Rob White on Etsy’s Unique Brand of Forum/Seller Discipline

Rob White (RW) has spoken! With 5 consecutive long-winded announcements.

RW follows with cherry-picked “answers to seller questions” to further justify Etsy's wacky practice of locking, banning, muting and other actions Etsy takes against sellers and admits in the same breath that Admins throw the “rules” out the window to apply their own personal judgement:

RW: Context will always play a significant part in what a member posts and how we and other community members will view it. Sometimes we don't see eye to eye with the person posting, sure. But by the time we've reviewed a thread and have elected to take action beyond posting in or closing a thread, a lot of eyes have looked over that scenario.

As I implied previously, this doesn't mean we're mistake-free, and in a few occasions in which members have written in to discuss the matter with us, we've reviewed the incident again, felt that we were mistaken the first time out and rescinded the action.

Admins DON’T SEE EYE TO EYE WITH THE ISSUE/PERSON POSTING? Does that mean that Admins are taking it personally and responding personally, screw the rules?

If I were you Rob, I’d look at 40-50 of the latest THREAD LOCKS and read what Admins are writing in the Forums. Sure looks like they aren’t following any rules at all!

RW may cry mea culpa when mistakes are made but let’s face it. No other self-proclaimed “community site” has a lexicon like Etsy – ban, mute, perma-mute, lock, red-brick, close — and such a public history of changing the rules when they feel like it to “punish” sellers with 2 eyes, not “a lot of eyes” as you claim.

Sellers who’ve expressed concerns for years over the negative consequences of taking ANY part in the Forums can rest assured that the same negative attitudes towards sellers is alive and kicking at Etsy.


The Righteous One said...

My favorite part of his responses is: "Dissenting opinions are important, and like I said before, when put constructively they are welcomed by and very helpful to us."

lol Etsy uses a different dictionary than the rest of us, where 'dissenting' means "agrees with us" and 'constructive' means "agrees with us while offering cookies"

for the hell of it said...

Nor do any of them offer to take any credit towards being the ones responsible for people "flipping out" out in the first place.

How many times can a peep listen to their passive aggressive and none too bright BS, without having blood vessels explode?

I'm one of the perma-mutes, and quite honestly I don't even mind. I even wonder if my subconscience didn't help to get that accomplished.

Let's face it, how often can a person be expected to rephrase, and to euphamise the same statement so as to NOT hurt the wittle feelings of supposedly grown up people who have been entrusted to run a selling site?

And, anyhow, with each new wave of mutings, offsite opportunities continue to crop up like mushrooms.

Eventually, enough rope will play out, to hopefully do a proper hanging.

I also personally feel that to CONSTANTLY re-ask the same old same old, the only real thing that gets accomplished is to provide these sociopathic cretins another clue as to what MIGHT BE DEEMED a palettable response, and a rough draft for the next spin attempt.

Stifler's Mom said...

I read that whole thread, and still have no friggin' idea what the rules are and what constitutes breaking them.

Fuckin' hipsters.

baitme said...

Rob White's photo is next to double speak in the dictionary.

4 weeks after a post I made, I was muted. I had never recieved a warning, nor was my post offensive, although it did raise ire about a front page cupcake.

I think the whole point is to bait the remaining forum posters that have dissenting opinions and then ban them all.

That's how they roll at etsy, no matter who is running the show.

sark said...

RobWhite started this thread at 3pm on a Friday. Seriously.

The only thing that actually surprises me is that cupcakes have not descended upon it with fifteen thousand frivolous posts tripping over their own dainty sugary little flat feet to THANK him for posting this tripe.

Although, every response in that post that involves someone saying "thank you" just makes me roll my eyes.

Thank you for what? The timing, the vagueness, the non-answers? Quoting the posts where people said "thank you."

It's just posturing.

The Funny One said...

Perfecly put, sark. RW's timing fits the Etsy Golden Rule - post shit on Friday, seeya on Monday!

If Rob-arino and Chad-arino spent as much time on fixing Search and deleting resellers as they did this past Thurs and Fri blathering about godknowswhat, some Etsy sellers might actually sell some things.

What company spends an entire page in the so-called "seller forums" listing all the ways the company plans to punish and spank the people who fill their coffers?

Etsy's lousy stinking reputation is all of its own doing. RW just confirmed it.

WhoKnewIt said...

"this doesn't mean we're mistake-free"

This is the most intelligent thing this man has ever said.....EVER...this is the largest group of junior high kids I've ever seen. So completely UNprofessional...

Handmade Artists' Forum said...

Do as we say not as we do LOL

WastedTimeNOT said...

I would never go back to those forums, even if my perma-mute was lifted magically.

I do not take kindly to the patronizing way that the Staff react to any post that points out blatant errors they make--however politely it is worded. That, and the lurking Troll (you all probably know who I am talking about) who took pleasure in baiting and then reporting.

Waht they do want is to cover the shit with leaves and walk away, whistling.
In my case, they didn't want me on there because I was "disruptive". Yes, that was RWhite's term. In other words, they didn't want the ignorance of their staff exposed. Those people don't seem to comprehend their own TOU-- and don't know the diff between handmade and vintage. And they sure don't want to be educated.

anti nazi-ism said...

Etsy = Big Brother = Nazis.

Their level of favoritism is very hitler-like = ridding the world of the jews. They only like the blond haired blue eyed moustache wearing, cupcake carrying hipsters.
It's beyond disgusting.

UgaBugaBowls said...

How can I find a job where I spend 8 hours a day eavesdropping on conversations and then kicking people out when they say something that pisses me off? That sounds pretty cushy to me! No actual work, don't even need the pesky maturity that plagues most of us grown-ups. I'm totally jealous! If I had known a job like this was even an option of careers to dream for, I wouldn't have bothered with college!

just bitchy said...

Ruby Lane went through a similar forum meltdown.

At least the nutjub running Ruby Lane (who is now NOT running the place anymore and is gone) just shut down their forum to posting one day.

Easy peasy. Done.

Their admin now just post the gist of messages they get via private communication and answer those messages while toeing the company line.

That Ruby Lane guy had a total meltdown ala Tony at AF (p.s. Tony, get a therapist you nitwit), but at least the Ruby Lane guy had the - I don't know what really, maybe balls - to just shut the whole friggin' thing down.

What Etsy is doing right now is death by 1,000 cuts.

"Never try to teach a pig to sing. It is a waste of your time, and it annoys the pig."

Sellers, who pay Etsy fees and keep Etsy alive, will NOT roll over and Etsy admin is clearly venturing rapidly in to taking everything too personally and being vindictive.

Time to pull the plug and put everyone out of their misery.

I used to like and support RobW. At this point he's just a company mouth piece and as offensive as any one of them, including Daniellexo...and that my friends is saying a lot.

Dear RobW, you and Robbie K can bite me.

I never thought RobW would sell out, but his long, drawn out "explanation" is just pure, unadulterated bullshit.

“If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.”
-- Joseph Goebbels

Holy shit.

Yes, I just Godwinned this conversation.

Oh well, truth hurts.

just bitchy said...

p.s. for now, ChadD can bite me, too.

Show, don't tell.

If you are different and will run thing differently then do it for pete's sake.

I very much doubt anything will change.


just bitchy said...

Dear ChadD,

Dolphins? Really...

“Man has always assumed that he was more intelligent than dolphins because he had achieved so much...the wheel, New York, wars and so on...while all the dolphins had ever done was muck about in the water having a good time. But conversely, the dolphins had always believed that they were far more intelligent than man...for precisely the same reason.”
-- Douglas Adams

Anonymous said...

His reply makes no sense. A lot of people have looked past WHAT scenario? What is he refering to? Sounds like a lot of hot air and empty words.


trinlayk said...

gotten to I don't trust Etsy as a selling forum AT ALL anymore, I no longer have all my eggs in the ETSY basket. (yay)

I don't care if they mute me anymore, I'll keep at them about the problems I see, as well as the problems I've seen go unaddressed or addressed half assedly.

We never got technical answers to our questions about the search. The search function should have been a priority YEARS ago... and it only gets worse and worse.

I've seen the mutings applied SO incredibly randomly. Someone cheering on a friend (Yippee Diane) was muted, but nothing happened to people who were harassing a stalking and assault victim who was vocal about the privacy concerns.
"Hey everyone, if your name is out there and you think it doesn't matter, everything could change so fast you don't notice it's a problem until it's too late. With your real name and real town on you profile (rather than just major metro area, or nearest big city) it's too easy to look up not only a phone number, but someone's address- find out where they work, and so forth."

granted it's always been possible to do this, but the combination of a real name, and specific location stated, PLUS the Internet makes it really really easy. It's no longer enough that I've kept my real name off the internet, if Etsy decides that displaying your real name is no longer "optional".

but they'll never mute the people saying that someone with a history of being stalked, or concern about such things, just shouldn't be in business, and shouldn't be on the internet at all. They won't lock the thread, or comment on how it's important to respect other users.

trinlayk said...

"Dear ETSY,
I need to know if I am your Employee, or your customer.

thank you,
Etsy seller"

Michael Payton said...

Rob White is just some kid hired by Etsy. What were his qualifications to do this? Does he make any decisions?

Who gives a fuck, anyway? Fuck Etsy, and fuck their forums. On EB's 4th anniversary, do you really think anything is ever going to change? When they sell out, it might. Short of a 75% change of the Board of Directors, management, and rank and file, Etsy is not going to get better. Time to face that fact.

The Funny One said...

The current RW thread (what fiction!) only feeds Etsy's pervasive, constant and sitewide manipulations to herd sellers into behavior ONLY acceptable to Etsy. Behaviors (btw) that are judged by paid employees with personal vendettas (without adult supervision).

Etsy has been such a bully for so long that they believe this is an acceptable business practice! It's amazing. Etsy bullies sellers into making and listing what they like, pay tons of fees, and then turn around and publicly smack sellers for using THEIR seller forums!

Instead of debating HOW Etsy censors and punishes PEOPLE WHO PAY FEES, why aren't we asking why Etsy does this shit in the first place?

Tula said...

They'll never change. The children running the place are too busy playing with their plushie toys or wasting time doing crap like this:
... instead of doing anything that might actually help sellers. I'll never understand the flippancy and sheer disdain Etsy and some other marketplaces show to the customers who actually keep them in business.

for the hell of it said...

@ trinlayk,

The following is a quote from an Etsy Success email;

"1. Etsy has a new CEO. Rob Kalin founded Etsy and hired me four years ago. We're starting a new chapter here at Etsy and I'm optimistic about Etsy's future with our new CEO (Etsy's former CTO) Chad Dickerson. Please read his blog post to all of us, Our Next Chapter at Etsy: A Letter to the Community.

I want to share an inspiring talk Rob shared a while back. I think it speaks directly to the type of leader Rob is and the type of company Etsy is (a one buttocks company!)."


Look at the last words. Danielexo has finally told the truth! She has admitted that Etsy ia half assed.

A human has 2 buttocks. :) AND 1 divide by 2 = 1/2.

And the truly tragic part is that the dweeb has no F'ing clue that she did.

Anonymous said...

When I think of all the potential Etsy had, the real positive change it could have made, and how it threw it all away by hiring people like Rob White et al, it makes me want to weep.

I think some serious house-cleaning needs to go on over there, not the least of which is reverting the forums to their old format and making them more of a safe space for real, honest free speech. A place where dissenting opinions are *actually* welcomed and listened to, a place where people don't get muted and permamuted willy-nilly for being anything other than perfect little sycophants.

Otherwise, I hope Etsy goes bankrupt and disappears like a late-'90s dot-com.

trinlayk said...

I had a recent problem of someone trolling by following me from thread to thread where I was posting about things I am Honestly and really concerned about... the person trolling would mock my concerns and generally be harassing.

so I reported their post. when I got a moderator in email I was informed that because the posting was not "directly and personally insulting" it was A-OK.

However, it's very clear that if I posted something like "will you please cut it out." or "quit mocking my concerns" or "that's inappropriate" I'd get hit with a mute.

and the issues of my concerns still go on, ignored completely by admin.

but the troll like behavior will just move on to new targets.

something from one of the "trolling people" struck me as a threat to follow me around from forum to forum OFF of Etsy, but apparently Etsy either doesn't think so, or doesn't care.

That alone is leading to the rumors of a squad of postered paid to push those posting concerns to the edge of their patience so that they WILL post something like "that is inappropriate" or "that's rude" so it will be called "calling out" and the person with the valid concern/issue/complaint will be muted.

More and more it looks like the clique of popular girls back in High School and not a business run in a professional manner.

Rosita P. said...

One of the perma-muted here.
Amazing how etsy peeps make wrong decisions time after time. Instead of muting and perma-muting in the forums, they should for once listen to those who take time to think about the problems and come up with solutions. Listen and learn .....

Stifler's Mom said...

I can't be the only one who thinks that row of tiny RW pictures across the top of the thread page looks beyond stupid.

It's like the charm bracelet from hell.

HaHaHa said...

S'sM: Oh, yes, it's ugly as Hell and all out there for everyone to see. "It's all about the photography"? Photoshop out your zits and make yourself presentable!

The Funny One said...

RW can put the cute little crop of photos on Zazzle ala Regretsy and sell t-shirts and organically sourced, Bklyn roasted, rooftop dried, hipster appropriate coffee mugs for the new Seller Happiness Team that doesn't include any sellers!

Then Admins can happy themselves right into ecommerce oblivion!

Old habits live a long life at Etsy and their medieval attitudes towards "seller punishment" may find its way to a public stockade on the Etsycorp roof!

The Funny One said...

Today Aug 4 RW announces new forum moderators, hinting that the current moderators who so enjoy talking down to sellers are, one can hope, on their way to other Etsy jobs -- assuming anyone at Etsy actually has a real job decription.

Great. New Admins with no history, little knowledge of seller issues and, shall we assume? unsupervised as usual? Will they get to lock threads and mute people on the first day or does that come in a week or 2?

Etsy history proves that the wrong people keep getting picked to do the wrong jobs.