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Blue Board Agency ratings - potential for abuse
Thread poster: Werner George Patels, M.A., C.Tran.(ATIO)
Werner George Patels, M.A., C.Tran.(ATIO)
Local time: 23:29
German to English
+ ...
Dec 29, 2001

ALERT:



DeJump, an agency from Québec, is abusing the new agency rating system. They posted their own rating, followed by a second \"endorsement\" using another profile that they quickly set up for themselves.



After pointing out this abuse, I have received very offensive e-mails from Josee Marianne Proulx, the agency owner.



Henry, please remove \"DeJump\" and \"technodoc\" - they are abusing this site and the agency rating.

[ This Message was edited by: on 2001-12-29 21:14 ]


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John Kinory
Local time: 04:29
English to Hebrew
+ ...
Full marks, Werner Dec 30, 2001

I assume that only a Platinum member could have discovered this bogus setup. I hope you expose more of them. Far from benefiting themselves, I will never work for them; and perhaps will pass on their name to all my contacts. After Six degrees of Separation, maybe no translator will! talk about shooting yourself in the foot ...
[addsig]


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Henry Dotterer
Local time: 23:29
SITE FOUNDER
take Blue Board information with a grain of salt Dec 30, 2001

Confirming the veracity of postings, or the identity of posters, in these forums, on the Blue Board, or anywhere on the site, is not something the ProZ.com team is able or interested in doing. Every posting should be taken not as absolute fact, but simply as one person\'s report.



This \'hands-off\' policy is explained in the membership agreement, but I will add a note to that affect on the Blue Board, too.



(By the way, the poster claims to work for the agency, not own it... and the person has been a site member for some time; they did not just register for the purpose of posting.)


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Werner George Patels, M.A., C.Tran.(ATIO)
Local time: 23:29
German to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
I don't fully agree - it is abuse and should not be tolerated. Dec 30, 2001

Henry,



With all due respect, but I cannot fully agree with you on this one.



I have received private (offensive) e-mail from the person behind the \"DeJump\" profile. Maybe that person is not the owner, but, at least, they are employed by the agency. Staff members of agencies should not be allowed to rate their own agency/employer. The agency rating system is intended, clearly, for freelancers who wish to share information on their clients.



The second profile, \"technodoc\", was created some time earlier today, following my initial complaint, so as to post another misleading rating for that agency.



The problem is that non-paying members do not have access to the full information. They only get to see a phony rating of 3.6 for that agency, for example, without being able to see the actual comments and to determine the veracity and authenticity of the profiles.



I know you like to take a \"hands-off\" approach, but this kind of abuse is clearly designed to mislead users of the ProZ service (as well as to promote one\'s own agency) and should not be (passively) tolerated. What good is the \"blue board\" if the information shown there needs to be taken with a gigantic salt-shaker (rather than with your grain of salt)?


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Telesforo Fernandez
Local time: 08:59
English to Spanish
+ ...
yet, another frill for proz Dec 30, 2001

I did not take these ratings seriously. These are just like the newspaper opinion polls : Agree, do not agree, can\'t say. You should take them with a pinch of salt, unless it intends to rub salt on your wounds.

Some people get fooled for some time, not all the people all the time.

One has to use one\'s kidneys in this cyberspage. In the cyberspage sometimes rogues pretend to be angels.



[ This Message was edited by: on 2002-01-01 06:26 ]


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John Kinory
Local time: 04:29
English to Hebrew
+ ...
Not able or not interested? Dec 30, 2001

Henry,



I am somewhat disappointed by your comments. There is a huge difference between being unable to double-check each and every claim, and not being interested in making sure that this site does not deteriorate into a notice-board for false information. BTW, this includes people claiming to be ATA members, for example, when a quick search of the ATA site reveals that they are not.

Are you really saying you are not interested in the fact that false claims about members\' qualifications and about agency ratings are being posted on this site?
[addsig]


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Henry Dotterer
Local time: 23:29
SITE FOUNDER
even with a 'gigantic salt-shaker', the system has value. Dec 30, 2001

Werner wrote:

I know you like to take a \"hands-off\" approach, but this kind of abuse is clearly designed to mislead users of the ProZ.com service (as well as to promote one\'s own agency) and should not be (passively) tolerated. What good is the \"blue board\" if the information shown there needs to be taken with a gigantic salt-shaker (rather than with your grain of salt)?



No known fraud will be tolerated. And over time, system checks will be increased. But in this case, no attempt was made to hide the reviewer/agency relationship. It is far from clear that anyone is trying to mislead anyone else.



I believe that even used with \"a gigantic salt-shaker\", the system has value.



For example, having read these postings, you appear less inclined to work with the agency in question. Someone else, recognizing that the reviewer is associated with the agency, might be more inclined to work with the agency. So be it; you would agree that in any case, everyone is better informed. And you can always follow up with the reviewers.


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Werner George Patels, M.A., C.Tran.(ATIO)
Local time: 23:29
German to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
No, no, no Dec 30, 2001

This way, I am sorry, there is no value in it. Besides, as I pointed out, the majority of ProZ users (non-paying members) will not be able to see the comments and the profiles. They will not be able to form their own opinion; they will simply see a fraudulent rating and not even realize it.



By the same token, I could create 20 false profiles and rate one agency, thus effectively breaking their neck. And trust me, these things will happen - especially now that you have allowed the first abuser to go on.


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Henry Dotterer
Local time: 23:29
SITE FOUNDER
the proof of the pudding... Dec 30, 2001

Your opinions have been noted, Werner and John.



The value and reliability of the Agency Blue Board, or lack thereof, will become apparent only over time. As you know, we, the ProZ.com team, are committed to continuous improvement of this and all ProZ.com resources. You may assume that if serious flaws are exposed, we will work to correct them (or will scrap the system entirely.)



Remember, this is a new function that has been online for only three days. See how it goes before condemning it.


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Werner George Patels, M.A., C.Tran.(ATIO)
Local time: 23:29
German to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
I am not condemning the feature Dec 30, 2001

.... I am only condemning the fact that an abuser (and doesn\'t get any clearer than this) is allowed to disseminate false information in such a manner. The feature itself is fine, but if you take DeJump\'s current rating of 3.6 as an example, you will see that the \"blue board\" is not effective unless you allow all members access to the full \"inside\" information. Every ProZ user should see the comments and member profiles in order to form their own opinions. Just showing them a bogus rating without any background info is misleading and opens the door to abuse.

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Werner George Patels, M.A., C.Tran.(ATIO)
Local time: 23:29
German to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
??? Dec 30, 2001

Quote:


On 2001-12-30 12:37, Yoni wrote:

Henry,



BTW, this includes people claiming to be ATA members, for example, when a quick search of the ATA site reveals that they are not.

Are you really saying you are not interested in the fact that false claims about members\' qualifications and about agency ratings are being posted on this site?







This is another serious matter that needs to be addressed ASAP.



P.S. The moderator in question WAS a member of ATA in the past, but is no longer attached to ATA. So, this situation is very different from ProZ\'s new listing, which did not show up for a year.

[ This Message was edited by: on 2001-12-30 21:12 ]

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John Kinory
Local time: 04:29
English to Hebrew
+ ...
So what about false membership claims? Dec 30, 2001

Henry,



You say \'No known fraud will be tolerated\'. OK. But you have not specifically referred to the fact that one of your moderators (!!) is posting false claims. And also removing the link to his page when posting terminology questions (perhaps in preparation for the \'asker history\' feature? Naaah ... he couldn\'t be that dishonest, could he? Surely not!). Is that also one of the frauds you will not tolerate?



I am also not condemning the feature: au contraire, both the idea and its implementation are fine and useful in principle, and I congratulate you on it. It\'s just that in my experience, abuse needs to be stamped out at once or it sends the wrong signals entirely. It\'s easy to root out now: it\'ll be much much harder down the line.
[addsig]


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Trudy Peters  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 23:29
German to English
+ ...
ATA website Dec 30, 2001

John, Werner,



Not every ATA-member is listed on the ATA website, only those who choose to publish their profile in the Translation Services Directory.



Trudy


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Henry Dotterer
Local time: 23:29
SITE FOUNDER
you are making claims without adequate proof Dec 30, 2001

The ProZ.com team will make an attempt to vertify credentials upon request. But it is not our policy to verify memberships.



For what it is worth, ProZ.com joined the ATA (corporate membership), and this was not reflected for almost a year, either on the ATA website or in the membership directory. (You will remember that this prompted you, Werner, to make the baseless claim that we were engaging in fraud.)



It is improper to cast doubt on another member\'s claims without conclusive proof to the contrary. In this case, there is no such proof. Furthermore, it is not your role to police the site.



I am locking this thread. Do not continue discussing this matter here.


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