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Inconsistent application of Rule No. 8
Thread poster: Aurora Humarán
Aurora Humarán  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 03:29
English to Spanish
+ ...
Aug 30, 2007

Hi ProZ.com staff,

I would like to know why I was asked to remove a link to a paragraph I intended to comment with fellow translators, based on a rule that is not consistently applied in the site.

Below is the paragraph I posted. As one of the heaviest posters of the site (5,815 posts in 7 years), I posted as I have always done it: following customary uses, including the corresponding Internet link, as per Internet copyright rules.

This is aligned with Rule No 9: «It is the responsibility of the poster to respect copyright. Use of unauthorized copies of material (copyrighted, trademarked, or otherwise protected) is forbidden. Only excerpts and links to articles may be printed, unless permission has been obtained from the publishers. In such cases, the posting must make clear that such permission has been obtained. »

My paragraph:

«Our selection process incorporates the validation of qualifications and experience; dedication to their role (that is, they do not have another job); and equipment and tools
expertise. All applicants have to pass a linguistic and technical test assignment. We also confirm alignment in terms of the pricing of their services. Our experience is that many freelancers have unrealistic expectations in terms of compensation, often influenced by foreign customers with limited market knowledge who pay excessive rates.»

xxx.LINK (Corresponding link was removed).

I was informed that I was violating a site rule as the link identified an outsourcer of the site, thus violating Rule No. 8.

By rereading Rule No. 8 I realized that the same rule is constantly violated in the site, but posters are never asked to remove the links.

Ramdom example to prove my point:

I (one of ProZ.com's outsourcers http://www.proz.com/blueboard/5044 ) wrote an article that
appeared in an e-magazine.

A site member posted in the Spanish Forum a link to my article that had been posted in "La linterna del traductor" http://www.proz.com/post/74110#74110
and a couple of colleagues talked about me and my article. Comments are positive, but that is not relevant as per Rule 8.

(Please reread it).

Rule 8: Outsourcers may not be discussed specifically. Posts or comments regarding a specific outsourcer (identified by name, reference, link or other means), whether positive
or negative, are not permitted. (To indicate their likelihood of working again with a given outsourcer, site users should use the ProZ.com Blue Board.)

Here, rule 8 is being clearly violated as so it is in lots of other instances.

I demand that the rule be applied equally to all outsourcers.

I will much appreciate somebody's clear reply to my concern.

Thank you.

Aurora

[Edited at 2007-08-30 19:18]


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Enrique Cavalitto
Local time: 03:29
SITE STAFF
The link could have been left there Aug 30, 2007

Hi Aurora,

As I posted in the other thread, when you posted the original text there were concerns about copyright, since Multilingual is a subscription magazine.

Maybe our initial message was a bit confusing, since there was also a reminder of rule http://www.proz.com/siterules/forum/8#8 (Outsourcers may not be discussed specifically).

Since the article was part of a free-download issue of a subscription magazine I guess that your link could have been left in the original post (i.e. the requested edition was not needed).

Anyway, as far as I can see the information about the article was widely available in other posts of the same thread, so that I don't think the discussion of the issue at hand was affected.

I apologize for any inconvenience that this could have produced.

Regards,
Enrique


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Aurora Humarán  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 03:29
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Hola Aug 30, 2007

I will edit my initial posting and add the link, as per your ok.

Thank you.


Au


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Aurora Humarán  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 03:29
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Rule No 8 Aug 30, 2007

This still remains unanswered:

Can we or can we not discuss outsourcers in the fora?


Au

ps: not the ones we have worked for, of course, which is the BB's objective.


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Enrique Cavalitto
Local time: 03:29
SITE STAFF
Outsourcers may not be discussed specifically Aug 30, 2007

Aurora Humarán wrote:

Can we or can we not discuss outsourcers in the fora?



Hi Aurora,

8 Outsourcers may not be discussed specifically. Posts or comments regarding a specific outsourcer (identified by name, reference, link or other means), whether positive or negative, are not permitted. (To indicate their likelihood of working again with a given outsourcer, site users should use the ProZ.com Blue Board.)

Please let me know what part of this rule is in your view unclear or inconsistent.

Regards,
Enrique


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Aurora Humarán  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 03:29
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
... Aug 30, 2007

Enrique wrote:

Please let me know what part of this rule is in your view unclear or inconsistent.

Regards,
Enrique



The rule itself is neither unclear nor inconsistent. My comment had to do with the way in which the rule is/was being applied, not with the rule itself (see the title of my thread.)

It is obvious that you are now allowing me (us) to discuss an outsourcer specifically. You are now allowing a post or a comment regarding a specific outsourcer identified by name, reference, link or other means. Are you not?

Unless you have made a change to Rule 8, I see a contradiction here.


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Enrique Cavalitto
Local time: 03:29
SITE STAFF
I see no contradiction Aug 30, 2007

Aurora Humarán wrote:

Enrique wrote:

Please let me know what part of this rule is in your view unclear or inconsistent.

Regards,
Enrique



The rule itself is neither unclear nor inconsistent. My comment had to do with the way in which the rule is/was being applied, not with the rule itself (see the title of my thread.)

It is obvious that you are now allowing me (us) to discuss an outsourcer specifically. You are now allowing a post or a comment regarding a specific outsourcer identified by name, reference, link or other means. Are you not?

Unless you have made a change to Rule 8, I see a contradiction here.


I see no contradiction, discussions on a specific outsourcer are not allowed in the forums.

Regards,
Enrique


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Lesley Clarke  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 00:29
Spanish to English
This is madness Aug 31, 2007

Ralf said in the relevant discussion:

Forum rule #8 Aug 27


Lawyer-Linguist wrote:

... it was removed because it identified the agency in question (although the supplied link didn't work). Only reason I can think of, but may be wrong.

Spot on - we have asked Aurora to remove the link.

In the meantime, I would appreciate if everyone else could refrain from reposting it - to be clear, I'm posting the relevant forum rule:



Outsourcers may not be discussed specifically.
Posts or comments regarding a specific outsourcer (identified by name, reference, link or other means), whether positive or negative, are not permitted.


Thanks everyone for your cooperation.

Best regards,
Ralf


So shouldn't we be discussing Aurora's point, instead of pretending that it didn't happen?


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 08:29
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Some comments Aug 31, 2007

I'm not a moderator here, so I can only give my opinion.

Aurora Humarán wrote:
I would like to know why I was asked to remove a link to a paragraph I intended to comment with fellow translators, based on a rule that is not consistently applied in the site.


In a perfect world, rules would be easy to apply and everyone applying them would apply them the same way.

In the real world, these rules are a matter of judgment calls, and some inconsistency is to be expected... especially since (a) there are many who apply the rules, so their interpretation of the rules may differ slightly, and (b) the applicability of a rule may differ from post to post, depending on the topic of the post itself.

The rules may seem pretty straight-forward when you read them, but when you apply them you realise that the lines are actually quite blurry.

One moderator might decide that a post is against rule X, another may not have decided that. The mature response to this is not to dwell on it, but to get one with one's life.

I see Au complaining about inconsistent application of rules, but I don't see her proposing any solutions to the things that cause inconsistent appliation of rules. It is easy to complain, and it is easy to say "just do it right" or "just fix it", but fixing isn't always easy nor is it always possible.

...including the corresponding Internet link, as per Internet copyright rules.


...and I commend you for doing what you believed was the right thing to do. You were faced with two rules whose application in this case contrasted with each other (the rule about copyright and the rule about specific reference). You decided that the copyright rule overrides the specific-reference rule in this case. The moderator decided differently.

We can talk forever about who is right and who is wrong, but the fact is that both you and the moderator made a judgement call, and the moderator has the right of veto (it is his privilege, but it is also his duty).

I demand that the rule be applied equally to all outsourcers.


I think your demand is a valid one.

Perhaps you should suggest a way that will enable forum users to report misapplication of site rules by moderators, so that moderators can talk about it (as I'm sure they already do), to ensure that forum rules are applied more consistently.

I would suggest such a reporting system to be one-way only -- the report goes to staff or the moderators, but it is not discussed in public, where lots of me-too posters join the fray. The idea of such a reporting system would be to aid the moderators in their difficult task -- not to play whistle-blower on presumably errant moderators.

Perhaps a link at the bottom of the rules page should suffice: "If you believe that a rule is being inconsistently applied, please tell us" and the form on that page should ask for very specific information including post URLs and a comprehensive description about why the reporter thinks the rule is being applied inconsistenty in a specific case.


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Enrique Cavalitto
Local time: 03:29
SITE STAFF
The message is already there Aug 31, 2007

Samuel Murray wrote:

Perhaps you should suggest a way that will enable forum users to report misapplication of site rules by moderators, so that moderators can talk about it (as I'm sure they already do), to ensure that forum rules are applied more consistently.

I would suggest such a reporting system to be one-way only -- the report goes to staff or the moderators, but it is not discussed in public, where lots of me-too posters join the fray. The idea of such a reporting system would be to aid the moderators in their difficult task -- not to play whistle-blower on presumably errant moderators.

Perhaps a link at the bottom of the rules page should suffice: "If you believe that a rule is being inconsistently applied, please tell us" and the form on that page should ask for very specific information including post URLs and a comprehensive description about why the reporter thinks the rule is being applied inconsistenty in a specific case.


Hi Samuel, the message is already there, at the bottom of page http://www.proz.com/siterules


Clarification

For clarification regarding any of the above rules or rules enforcement, please submit a support request.


Maybe it should be expanded a bit to make it more clear.

Regards,
Enrique


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 08:29
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Not the same... Aug 31, 2007

Enrique wrote:
Hi Samuel, the message is already there, at the bottom of page: http://www.proz.com/siterules


Asking for "clarification" of a rule is not the same thing as reporting the variant behaviour of moderators.


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To report site rules violations or get help, contact a site moderator:


You can also contact site staff by submitting a support request »

Inconsistent application of Rule No. 8

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