Serious Fox Poll: Is this fair play or not?

Discussion in 'The Barracks' started by Fox, Jul 31, 2004.

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Do the forum adminstrators have a case?

  1. Yes. The AUP is breached and should ban offenders

    100.0%
  2. Kinda. The AUP is breached but they should get real and not make a deal out of it

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  3. No. The members privacy was breached and they should be ashamed

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. Fox

    Fox Clown Administrator

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    I frequent a particular forum (forum X) quite often and when signing up, I have to agree to an AUP (Acceptable Use Policy). Nearly every forum has one, including this TOG forum.

    The forum is free and is sponsored by ads/banners. Fair enough. Nothing odd about that. I can tolerate that for a free service.

    Here's the catch. There is this line in the AUP all members have to agree to :-

    You will not attempt to ..... make use of any hacks, cracks, bug exploits, etc. to bypass or modify the features of the forum software at any <company X> site.

    Benign right. That's a reasonable request. WRONG. The administrators have threatened to ban members because they have pop-up stoppers that block the banners and prevent tracking cookies from being installed!!

    They claim that the ads are a feature of the site and by running 3rd party software (pop-up blocker) to disable this feature, they are in breach of the AUP.

    The members, in defence, claimed that the ads were installing tracking cookies onto their PC's against their knowledge (the AUP didn't mention cookies) and as such, have every right to protect their privacy, security and PC's.

    Further still, some browsers, like Mozilla Firefox, block such things automatically. With some browsers, sometimes showing ads and allowing cookies is just not an option. Should they be forced to change browsers so they satisfy the AUP?

    What are your thoughts? Do the administrators have a valid arguement? Can they ban members who use these pop-up blockers? SHOULD they ban them? Will advertisers leave the site if this rule is not enforced? If the adminstrators have a valid arguement, what if the pop-up banners installed spyware (Gator etc) or even viruses?

    What are your thoughts? Vote above.
     
  2. GhostDog

    GhostDog Retired Administrator

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    Ad blocking does not, in my opinion, breach the AUP. It does not modify the features of the forum (they are still there), it just surpresses them on the client end.
     
  3. Wayfarer

    Wayfarer Well-Known Member

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    Vote with your feet.

    Obey the agreement or leave.

    If the agreement is a problem for enough people then either the forum will collapse or the admins will permit blocking.

    If they ban enough people the forum will collapse anyway.
    It will also ruin their reputation therefore fewer new people will join.
    If people only stay at the forum for a short while before leaving or being banned then the quality of the forum will drop and it will collapse or the admins will permit blocking
     
  4. ozbrat

    ozbrat Well-Known Member

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    Well with Windows XP SP2 coming out soon, it too has a pop up blocker built in and other updated security features, so going by their rules updating r xp to protect r self is in violation of their AUP, so tell them to sue MS lololol
     
  5. Ned

    Ned Public Forum Coordinator

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    If it's in the AUPs then the admins have every right.

    Traking cookies are no big deal but things like gator just piss me off. There is no way I would get involved with a site that was linked to that crap.
     
  6. Easy_Beat

    Easy_Beat Retired Moderator

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    If the ads are such an important part of the site, then why aren't they included as part of the page being accessed instead of as a popup? This avoids a popup killer from being of any use whatsoever.

    Why do they need cookies to display a random advert within a page? The only reason they'd need ad related cookies is to keep track of what type of adverts you actually will follow the links for. They can then serve up more of this particular type of ad to you than one you'd completely ignore.

    By using a browser that automatically suppresses popups and cookies, then it can't really be classified as a popup killer application, as it's primary purpose is to interpret HTML into something viewable by a user. The fact that it kills popups is a secondary function, and as such is tended to be percieved as a web browser rather than a popup killer.

    People tend to view advertisements as an annoyance. When was the last time you were watching your favourite show on tele, and you said, and meant, "Goody. The advertisements are here instead of my favourite show"? People have instinctively learned to ignore advertisements, unless it is for a product that they already have some sort of interest in i.e. Someone who has just made the statement; "Oh no! The dunny's blocked" will automatically have an interest in plumbers.

    As to the forum in question stating that advertisements are a feature. That is the equivalent of me stateing that a movies trailers are a feature of going to the movies. So long as my freckle points to the ground, I'll never pay umpteen dollars a head to go and see the trailers. I go to see the movie that was claimed to be showing.

    The forum administrators get $X for displaying an ad. The higher the traffic, they more they can charge for the ad. If you block cookies that tells them how many unique users have viewed the site, then I would consider that to be a breach of the AUP.
     
  7. Derelict

    Derelict Retired Administrator

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    Interesting little post here.

    Is it explicitly stated in the AUP that you will allow cookies to be installed and popups to be allowed? No.

    If it's not stated, then it's not in breach of the AUP. Maybe it's an implied statement of breach, but unless there's a law to state it then you're just using secondary functions of what's on your client side PC to not see things you have no interest in seeing and the advertisers to see that you are seeing things they intend for you to see.
     
  8. StockMan

    StockMan Retired Advisor

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    It seems to me unless it is specifically stated in the AUP "no pop-up blockers" this would be a non issue. As for banning members for using pop-up blockers, I think it would be a judgement call on the part of the site admins.........I think it would be a bad idea...but that's just me :twisted:
     
  9. Karmajay

    Karmajay Retired Advisor

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    I think even if it is implieed, a site that was trying to enforce this would lose me anyway.
     
  10. Arienne

    Arienne The Woman in Red

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    What a crock. If they ban people for blocking popups then they're not a forum worth visiting.

    IMHO.

    Case in point. You watch TV. TV has adverstisements. What do you do when the ads come on? You switch channels, effectively "blocking" the ads. Are we violating an agreement with the TV stations just because we don't want to watch their ads? Not bloody likely.

    You could imagine what would happen to their ratings. (Of course now they just put the bloody ads on the bottom of the screen of the show you are watching - especially cricket).
     
  11. Major_Mess

    Major_Mess Retired Captain

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    It is their forum and they have every right to dictate whatever they like.

    They are obviously a forum not worth supporting, so find another one.
     
  12. Ginsu

    Ginsu Retired Captain<br>Retired Journalist

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    I don't see how they can justify saying pop-up ads are a feature. I don't know a singe person that has ever said, "You know, I really wish this site had pop-up ads." Pop-up ads are just that - ads. No one should be FORCED to look at them if they don't want to, and if that forum requires them to it will die off - as well it should. :evil:
     
  13. Church

    Church Getting Started

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    I agree that the use of popup blockers as a breach of the AUP should be explicitly stated. However if the AUP has a catch all statement in it like "the enforcement of these rules is left to the discretion of the admins" then they have already covered their butt.

    I wouldnt visit a site who was as anal as this one seem to be anyway, as many have said, people will vote with their feet and the forum will fold, or its quality will degrade.
     
  14. Aussie_Digger

    Aussie_Digger Well-Known Member

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    What I want to know is why it's an issue? I mean, how do they know you guys are stopping the ads?

    Personally I would tell them to stick it but that me 8)
     
  15. Belta

    Belta Active Member

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    Roger That :!:
     
  16. gadgetboy

    gadgetboy Just Joined

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    Thats completely out of order, if you want to block the aggressive tracking cookies you have every right to do so. At the end of the day you should have full control over your PC.

    If forum admin start disqualifying members because they refuse to stop blocking adverts that then its going to be very bad for their public relations (although you probably couldnt do anything about it!)

    It would probably be better to charge a small subscription fee, then at least you know your PC is safe.
     
  17. Chappy

    Chappy Retired Moderator

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    If the ads are a source of income for the site, which in-turn helps to pay for the server etc, then I think the admins would be compelled to support their domain provider and uphold their User Agreements.

    But as for cookies, if you can't eat 'em, get rid of them!
     

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