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Does ProZ have a responsibility in this case? (Site staff: \"No.\")
Thread poster: Terry Thatcher Waltz, Ph.D.

Terry Thatcher Waltz, Ph.D.  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:36
Chinese to English
+ ...
Nov 29, 2002

Hi all,

Wanted to get the opinions of the good pros on the site on this one. It has to do with an ethical issue.

Recently, an agency (let\'s call it \"Agency X\") in the city where I live has sent out an e-mail to a translator (\"Translator Y\") and several agencies (\"Client A, B, C\") of another agency (\"Agency Y\") also operating in our fair city. These Translators and Clients live in Far-Off Cities and Countries. The e-mail \"warns\" the Translator and the Clients about \"Agency Y\", saying that \"Agency X\" has recently \'been attacked by spreading lies among translators\' (but without saying who did so) and then noting in parallel that \"Agency Y\" has been in contact with \"Agency X\" recently, and could Translator/Clients provide information about any contact between \"Agency Y\" and themselves?

I realize there is no \"attorney-client privilege\" between a Translator and the Agencies s/he works for, but it seems that a third party requesting information on the business relationship between two other parties (other than a straight request for a reference, as is normal practice) is somewhat shady, especially when e-mail is worded to make people believe that \"Agency Y\" is involved in poor business practices.

The reason I believe this has to do with ProZ is that the e-mail apparently went out to a large number of people -- the type of thing that could very well be a mass mailing, \"Agency X\" is a Platinum member of ProZ, and the first individual recipient of this mail was coincidentally the only person who had rated \"Agency Y\" on the Blue Board.

ProZ was made aware of this two weeks ago, but has not responded after the initial \"We\'ll look into it\" e-mail.

I believe there is something of a dispute going on between Agencies \"X\" and \"Y\" at present, but I would hope that they would content themselves to competition based on price and quality, rather than trying to put us translators in the middle.

What do you think?

[ This Message was edited by: on 2002-11-29 00:26 ]

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Giuliana Buscaglione  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:36
Member (2001)
German to Italian
+ ...
A site can't be made responsible for a private email Nov 29, 2002


I don\'t get your point or I got stuck in the middle of Ys & Xs )

When a mail is sent from an email address to another one, the only person responsible for the content is the sender. Another example: we all have a phone and a number, no company looks into our phone calls (until something illegal is going on or it is suspected that...). Still, even if it is proved that Mr X has done something illegal, no one would think the telephone company is as guilty as the perpetrator.

Have I missed your point totally??? If so, please explain again..



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Terry Thatcher Waltz, Ph.D.  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:36
Chinese to English
+ ...
Oops...guess I used too many letters!! ;-) Nov 29, 2002

What I\'m asking is, if \"Agency X\" is inappropriately using ProZ resources to defame \"Agency Y\", is that OK, and should ProZ take steps to either tell \"Agency X\" to quit or to disallow their postings/job offers/privileges/whatever.

Maybe the question is, does ProZ provide memnbership to anyone, regardless of what they do, or is there some kind of cut-off point for what looks like unethical business practices? If it were a site dealing with tropical fish, \"Agency X\" activities in the translation field wouldn\'t seem germane, but since it\'s a business site for translation, I wonder if it IS germane. Or not.

What would stop \"Agency Y\" from next sending out an e-mail to anyone they can find on the site saying \"Translator Q\" is unethical, irresponsible and should not be used? I realize ProZ doesn\'t want to get in the middle of this kind of dispute (BTW, I am NOT personally involved in it, it just seems like an interesting question) but do they have any kind of responsibility in terms of limiting members who exhibit questionable ethics, if such violations are proved?

(Does that make any more sense?? Gosh, I\'m at a loss when I have to make up my **own** words instead of translating somebody else\'s!)

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#41698 (LSF)
Local time: 03:36
Japanese to English
+ ...
No specific rules Nov 29, 2002

(1) Currently, there is no such specific prohibition on Proz rules. If there\'s such a specific prohibition, then Proz may want to exersize the rights to warn or terminate membership.

(2) Secondly, if Agency Y felt that it is unjustly defamed, it has the recourse to legal action. And the legal action may also require Proz to suppress any defamatory postings.

(3)Thirdly, it is similar to getting your name and address/E-Mail from the phone book, yellow pages or Internet Service Provider\'s E-Mail list. Can you say that these service providers should specifically prevent people from using the list provided by them for the purpose of mass mailing?

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Ralf Lemster  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:36
English to German
+ ...
ProZ is a venue, not a party Nov 29, 2002

Interesting point - note, however, that ProZ, from a legal perspective, is a venue where various parties can establish contacts. Obviously, some members may not always use the information so achieved in the most proper of ways, but in that way the site works exactly like any other comparable medium (such as the yellow pages, just to give you an example).

What is also worth noting in this context, that (regardless of Platinum or non-paying member) you cannot extract someone\'s e-mail address from, unless that person has either posted it openly in his/her profile, or included a link to their own homepage. If a message was sent through the ProZ profile, that\'s always clearly visible.

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Henry Dotterer
Local time: 15:36
SITE FOUNDER staff can not and does not take any responsibility Nov 29, 2002

As outlined in the users agreement,\'s staff can not (practically)--and will not--claim any responsibility for the truth of anything posted here, for the reliability of posters, etc. As a site user, you alone are responsible for verifying accuracy, screening others, etc.

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Does ProZ have a responsibility in this case? (Site staff: \"No.\")

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