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What to expect from ProZ in event of Blueboard libel
Thread poster: Libero_Lang_Lab

Libero_Lang_Lab  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 23:04
Member (2006)
Russian to English
+ ...
Dec 30, 2013

Hi there

What should agency members expect from ProZ if a translator provides BlueBoard feedback which is inaccurate, and results in a libellous slur on their reputation?

Interested in the thoughts of fellow members.

Thanks,

Dan, Libero Language Lab


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Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 23:04
Member (2008)
Italian to English
Proof Dec 30, 2013

Dan Brennan wrote:

Hi there

What should agency members expect from ProZ if a translator provides BlueBoard feedback which is inaccurate, and results in a libellous slur on their reputation?

Interested in the thoughts of fellow members.

Thanks,

Dan, Libero Language Lab


Proof would be required that the feedback is inaccurate. Otherwise no further action would be possible. I can foresee many difficulties associated with this.

[Edited at 2013-12-30 13:19 GMT]


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Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 23:04
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Problem must be solved as Dec 30, 2013

the entry I saw some 30 minutes ago is no longer present... Anyway, one swallow doesn't make a summer...

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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 00:04
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Proz.com will probably assist you... if you are right Dec 30, 2013

Dan Brennan wrote:
What should agency members expect from ProZ if a translator provides BlueBoard feedback which is inaccurate, and results in a libellous slur on their reputation?

There are several situations which I think can lead to this kind of situation:

- The translator claims you did not pay or paid late. If you have paid in due time, you should be able to prove it quite easily by means of your order to the bank, SWIFT documents, or records from your other means of payment.

- The translator claims you unlawfully cut down his/her agreed compensation because of alleged quality issues. If there are actual quality issues, you should be able to easily prove them by means of a detailed review and assessment of the quality by another qualified and experienced translator in the same language pair and specialty.

- The translator claims that he/she delivered a job which you claim you had not ordered from the translator. Your email communications on the job, if clear enough, should prove the translator wrong.

In all cases, if you can prove the translator wrong, I think Proz.com will remove the entry for you.


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Libero_Lang_Lab  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 23:04
Member (2006)
Russian to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks for your comments Jan 2, 2014

Thanks for your comments.

This really was a journey into the absurd.

The company in question invoiced us 18 November. We paid early December. The payment - to Egypt - was rejected by the payee's bank as they had failed to include the complete/correct payment details. i.e. their fault! Wheels were then set in motion for the money to be returned to our account - via two intermediary banks in the USA (we are in the UK). It took ages - but that wasn't our fault... I meanwhile insisted, quite fairly, I think, that we would only reissue payment once funds were back in our account. In the meanwhile I had to put up with all kinds of hysterical nonsense, including accusations that the money had already been returned and I was willfully withholding money. The money eventually reached us on Monday; within hours we reissued the payment via PayPal.

I am absolutely livid that ProZ allowed the company in question to post their comments on the Blueboard, and to issue a non-payment notice. It highlights the fact that there needs to be more due diligence done by ProZ/burden of proof on the accuser to show that they have a legitimate gripe. While ProZ did eventually act to hide the comments, pending clarification, these injurious comments were allowed to remain available for all to see for several days.

To my mind, ProZ should be taking action to ban the offending company.





[Edited at 2014-01-02 17:58 GMT]

[Edited at 2014-01-02 20:14 GMT]


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Post removed: This post was hidden by a moderator or staff member for the following reason: Thanks for your post. Note that it had to be removed because it includes the information that needs to be removed on the post you quote.

José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 21:04
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Let me understand... Jan 2, 2014

You mean that they were allowed to post derogatory comments on your company well before you were allowed to check the facts, and post your reply, such as either:

a) We did pay on time, and are doing our best to investigate what went wrong;

or...

b) Due to inaccurate bank data provided, our timely payment bounced. As soon as the refund gets here, we'll try again?

As I understand it, ANY (good or bad) comment for the Blue Board includes vetting by Proz staff, who will first check the outsourcing party's version.

Otherwise, anyone - not necessarily a translator - who discovers that their spouse is cheating with a translation firm's owner or employee may use the Proz Blue Board to vent their anger. This could quickly get out of control.


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Libero_Lang_Lab  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 23:04
Member (2006)
Russian to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
clarification Jan 2, 2014

Hi Jose

To clarify, this is the post that was allowed to appear on the Blueboard (along with a non-payment notice) on 24 December, and which remained in situ for several days:

"we did work with Dan with 1308 dollars [sic] and never paid right now due to a mistake in transfer the money returned to Dan and right now we didn't get paid, we have all evidences you didn't pay" [sic]

The poster posted this in full knowledge that the mistake in the transfer to which they allude was of their making. They refused to accept that we were simply waiting for the money to be returned before we reissued the payment.

These are facts which could, and should, have been checked, before allowing such a piece of tosh to be published.


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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 00:04
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Astonished Jan 3, 2014

Clearly some people misuse the Blueboard, both to include good feedback about people they only worked for once or twice and therefore know very little about, and to include bad feedback prematurely.

Clearly your freelancer was too quick in posting a bad comment without asking you for proof of your good faith and correct practice. They should have asked you for the SWIFT message issued by your bank, as proof that you did send the money on time. This way they would have seen that the information they provided was insufficient for the purposes of being paid from the UK.

Unfortunately this whole 19th-century crap (sorry) about corresponding banks has caused many issues we have seen over here in the fora. No wonder why people tend to prefer Paypal.

Good luck!


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XXXphxxx  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 23:04
Portuguese to English
+ ...
The review culture Jan 3, 2014

An intelligent person will look at the Blueboard and look for trends and a general picture rather than focusing on individual reviews. I doubt Proz vets each BB entry, nor are they equipped to judge any allegations. While I understand your wish to have an immaculate record, that is very difficult indeed in a system where we're free to speak our minds. Many businesses nowadays can be made or broken on the basis of reviews; whether or not a poor review constitutes libel doesn’t appear to have entered the frame yet. It's the price we pay for an age where everyone wants to have a say.

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José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 21:04
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Dead right! Jan 3, 2014

Lisa Simpson, MCIL wrote:

An intelligent person will look at the Blueboard and look for trends and a general picture rather than focusing on individual reviews. I doubt Proz vets each BB entry, nor are they equipped to judge any allegations. While I understand your wish to have an immaculate record, that is very difficult indeed in a system where we're free to speak our minds. Many businesses nowadays can be made or broken on the basis of reviews; whether or not a poor review constitutes libel doesn’t appear to have entered the frame yet. It's the price we pay for an age where everyone wants to have a say.


Dead right, Lisa!

Thank you for your compliment on my intelligence.

Let's compare two fictional Blue Board profiles.

Case One
The outsourcer has its share of 5s with praise from PRO-taggers and members, and a number of 1s and 2s from free users with skimpy - if any at all - ID information on their profiles, often without any comment. I disregard the latter.

Case Two
The outsourcer is located in a country known as a cheap translation venue. They have a clean all-5 BB record, all with boisterously positive comments. However it's immediately obvious that all these entries were made by translators from their very homeland. I read this as reliable prospects, however adept to grovelling rates.


To the best of my knowledge, Proz does indeed vet all BB comments, however such vetting is mostly focused on the use of foul language. If it happens, I guess the poster would receive a message to the tune of "Kindly refrain from insulting the outsourcer, their ancestry, and/or their sexual orientation, endowments or lack thereof in your feedback."


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Mark Benson  Identity Verified

English to Swedish
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More false positives than negatives Jan 3, 2014

Lisa Simpson, MCIL wrote:

An intelligent person will look at the Blueboard and look for trends and a general picture rather than focusing on individual reviews. I doubt Proz vets each BB entry, nor are they equipped to judge any allegations. While I understand your wish to have an immaculate record, that is very difficult indeed in a system where we're free to speak our minds. Many businesses nowadays can be made or broken on the basis of reviews; whether or not a poor review constitutes libel doesn’t appear to have entered the frame yet. It's the price we pay for an age where everyone wants to have a say.


I have been thinking about this a lot for quite some time now. I believe that negatives aren't posted to the extent they should for the system to be in full health.

I think we all have to be much stronger in fighting these entities. It took me months and months to come out with my first negative, even though I've certainly been through a lot over the years!

It's unfortunate if you think that ProZ doesn't vet BB entries, and that the allegations aren't verified. I do think you know this isn't true. Staff does vet the BB entries and verifies anything that has to be verified. You can even open a payment issue here.

Things are only wrong inasmuch as we don't set them right. When this topic was started, there was a problem. Now it's solved. Let's keep it that way!


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Libero_Lang_Lab  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 23:04
Member (2006)
Russian to English
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TOPIC STARTER
verification Jan 3, 2014

Mark Benson wrote:

It's unfortunate if you think that ProZ doesn't vet BB entries, and that the allegations aren't verified. I do think you know this isn't true. Staff does vet the BB entries and verifies anything that has to be verified. You can even open a payment issue here.



Clearly not the case, or that post would not have been allowed the oxygen to breathe in a public space for one nanosecond.

If I allowed someone to post on my own website that ProZ had been remiss in their financial dealings in a way that was patently untrue they would surely be upset and respond in the strongest terms, due to the slur on their reputation.

I do not think that simply removing that comment subsequently is enough.

[Edited at 2014-01-03 11:18 GMT]


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Mark Benson  Identity Verified

English to Swedish
+ ...
Bit more to it than that... Jan 3, 2014

José Henrique Lamensdorf wrote:


To the best of my knowledge, Proz does indeed vet all BB comments, however such vetting is mostly focused on the use of foul language. If it happens, I guess the poster would receive a message to the tune of "Kindly refrain from insulting the outsourcer, their ancestry, and/or their sexual orientation, endowments or lack thereof in your feedback."


I did laugh good at this, but then I have to say that there's a bit more to it as well. Just so that anyone wondering knows, ProZ in the above sentence means staff. The rules are here: http://www.proz.com/?sp=siterules&mode=show&category=blue_board_bb_blueboard.

Might be interesting to point out as well that you're only allowed to have two open non-payment issues as an agency member, then you're banned.

I strongly endorse your BlueBoard logic, José Henrique (and looking forward to the book)!

[Edited at 2014-01-03 11:27 GMT]


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XXXphxxx  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 23:04
Portuguese to English
+ ...
Verifying Jan 3, 2014

Mark Benson wrote:

It's unfortunate if you think that ProZ doesn't vet BB entries, and that the allegations aren't verified. I do think you know this isn't true. Staff does vet the BB entries and verifies anything that has to be verified. You can even open a payment issue here.


What do you mean by "verify"? What does Proz do between the moment the feedback is submitted and when it appears on the BB that is over and above what, let's say Tripadvisor, does?


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