Date   

moderated Re: Dealing with Terms of Service violations/other complaints

Ro
 

Coming in late to this discussion.  I created my group. There is NO one that has sufficient knowledge to take it over without possible harm to the animals I am trying to help.  Well at least, no one currently in the group.   If rules were to be changed that owners cant delete their group at will, then I would immediately close my groups, leave the IO format and never return, and stop recommending IO to people I know starting groups.    i started my group, I have the right to end it, period.   If a GROUP of people decide to start a group they dont want ever closed, and that is made clear, then I would only agree then that there could be format to not allow a single person to end the group. 

I notice some name calling in this thread,,, that seems really inappropriate to do that because someone disagrees with a position you have taken.

In short, owners have the right to start groups and end them.

People have the right to start groups and ask for a way to prevent a single person from ending it, IF that is their expressed wish as group owners/founders/moderator.

BTW, its foolish to think one cant close a group if one wishes to do so.  I cant imagine Mark taking the time and effort to close all the back doors to owner group sabotage if such a rule is put in place.

Ro


moderated Re: Dealing with Terms of Service violations/other complaints

 

On Fri, Aug 25, 2017 at 08:07 am, Duane wrote:
without allowing others to determine what is important
That's for sure! Including being forced or not to hand the group over to someone not of one's choosing.
 
--
J

 

Messages are the sole opinion of the author. Especially the fishy ones.

I wish I could shut up, but I can't, and I won't. - Desmond Tutu


moderated Re: Dealing with Terms of Service violations/other complaints

Brian Vogel <britechguy@...>
 

On Thu, Aug 24, 2017 at 11:11 pm, J_Catlady wrote:
Suggest to them that if their group grows large and people are becoming depending on the group that they have a succession plan. But DON'T force it on them.
Most owners do not have this much foresight, particularly when what sometimes started on a whim takes on a life of its own.

I do think a succession plan should be forced on an owner.  But I hasten to add that one of the options that could, and indeed should, be included is "no succession."  Effectively when the group founder dies the group goes on lock down once the service provider has been notified of the death, and it would be up to the founder to have made provision for someone to notify the service provider of their death and provide proof of same.

It does not, however, vanish from the surface of the cyber-earth.   The information exchange in a group is not, and should not in any way, be considered the sole property of the individual who happens to have founded it.   As soon as multiple participants are involved in a venue that is a community exchange of ideas and information the idea of sole ownership becomes untenable.
 
--
Brian  - Windows 10 Home, 64-Bit, Version 1703, Build 15063  (dot level on request - it changes too often to keep in signature)
I worry a lot. . . I worry that no matter how cynical you become it's never enough to keep up.
    ~ Trudy, in Jane Wagner's 
            Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe


moderated Re: OWNED or ADMINISTERED #suggestion

Brian Vogel <britechguy@...>
 

Everett,

          Actually, to further split a hair, but I think it's an important one, Groups.io is an owned service or owned service provider.   It does not, in any meaningful sense, own the content of any of the groups that get created here, even under the law.   Copyright is maintained by the respective writers of new content, etc.

          We still have not come to terms with parallel constructions in the internet age that were put in place in the early days of the telecommunications age.  Telecommunications providers do not own any of the content which they transmit, but they do own the infrastructure over which it's transmitted.  That is, at least from a practical perspective, the same thing that is occurring on services such as this one.

           The courts have come to recognize this partially, particularly where copyright infringement has occurred.  Services such as Groups.io have consistently been held harmless for any infringement on the part of the membership.  It is the member who is responsible for the infringement.  The only thing, and it's entirely reasonable, that the transmitting entity is expected to do is to follow any legal take down order to make their infrastructure support for said infringement cease, as it's more permanent in nature than conventional telecommunications, which are ephemeral.
--
Brian  - Windows 10 Home, 64-Bit, Version 1703, Build 15063  (dot level on request - it changes too often to keep in signature)
I worry a lot. . . I worry that no matter how cynical you become it's never enough to keep up.
    ~ Trudy, in Jane Wagner's 
            Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe


moderated Re: Dealing with Terms of Service violations/other complaints

Duane
 

On Thu, Aug 24, 2017 at 03:26 pm, J_Catlady wrote:


what I consider petty issues
I think it's great that we can all run our groups as needed, without allowing others to determine what is important.

Duane


moderated Re: Dealing with Terms of Service violations/other complaints

 

On Fri, Aug 25, 2017 at 07:49 am, J_Catlady wrote:
Only the founder would be able to delete a group.
It really doesn't matter what it's called, but this would be a sole individual (rather than multiple owners) and they should have a mechanism for succession if they want to hand the reins to someone else. 
 
--
J

 

Messages are the sole opinion of the author. Especially the fishy ones.

I wish I could shut up, but I can't, and I won't. - Desmond Tutu


moderated Re: Dealing with Terms of Service violations/other complaints

Brian Vogel <britechguy@...>
 

On Fri, Aug 25, 2017 at 06:52 am, James Milligan wrote:
If there's only one owner, regardless of whether it's free or paid, they're the owner of the group, ultimately it's their call what they do with it. If your community(ies) don't want that to happen, then you obviously don't trust the owner? What about normal websites and blogs - if they want to turn it off one day, you can't stop them...
There have been numerous historical cases where, for whatever the root cause, an extant "owner" of a given group could no longer be trusted and a number have been destroyed entirely on whim.

This is a separate issue from the situation when a service provider goes out of business and most, if they are not "shady," will give more than adequate warning of an impending closure to allow those using the service to find substitutes.

In the example you give where a group is quite specifically for the use of some business or organization I would hope that the business or organization would be the group owner and that someone currently employed by said business would be delegated as what gets called the group owner here.  If that person resigns, retires, or dies then the organization would name the next delegated person to assume the role.   Hence the reason I strongly favor the concept and terminology of "group administrator."

There have been a very great many lists/groups "orphaned" out there when a parent entity itself ceases to exist, and you can still find them.  While there have been occasions where a full deletion has been done by and large these things continue their existence either as pure "zombie groups" where any existing members can access them (and many do - some have even effectively become "former employees of X" type groups - and if the owner/administrator kept interest new members fitting the "former employees" or "former members of organization X" can and do still join.)

Usenet, which still exists and parts of which are going strong, is the best example of what becomes of groups over the long term.

In the end, though, if a group has public archives it can never disappear entirely anyway.  One need only visit the Wayback Machine internet archive for clear evidence of that.  This is why I have spent years trying to tell people that anything you ever post in public, or that you have sent to someone that they might post in public, is, for all practical intents and purposes, in the public domain.  Things that enter the public areas of the internet can never be retracted.  The bell cannot be unrung.
 
--
Brian  - Windows 10 Home, 64-Bit, Version 1703, Build 15063  (dot level on request - it changes too often to keep in signature)
I worry a lot. . . I worry that no matter how cynical you become it's never enough to keep up.
    ~ Trudy, in Jane Wagner's 
            Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe


moderated Re: Dealing with Terms of Service violations/other complaints

 

On Fri, Aug 25, 2017 at 06:52 am, James Milligan wrote:
If there are two or more owners on a group
I think it's always been a lack that a separate category for "founder" does not exist. I would create that category. Only the founder would be able to delete a group.
 
--
J

 

Messages are the sole opinion of the author. Especially the fishy ones.

I wish I could shut up, but I can't, and I won't. - Desmond Tutu


moderated Re: Dealing with Terms of Service violations/other complaints

Tony Moody
 

Yes Noel,
Not quite what you envisage but close enough.

My active group is a village news and info subscription setup, so I doubt very much that there is anything that could be considered copyright. In effect the whole thing belongs to us the villagers and without their contributions the group would not exist: I did start the free manual email list 12 years ago and have built, run and improved the service. The small membership subscriptions pay for the web-site accounts and for the phone, adsl services. I do not charge for my time or effort.  I contribute very little to the copy. I do have people who I can phone for moderation purposes, but it is mostly my baby. For the past year or so the errm trouble makers have drifted away to harrass each other on facebook and whatsup. There is only one rule "Be Nice" .

I have called for formal moderators/policy helpers, and approached a few people; but everyone is so busy !. Or they are luddites. Both valid, so be it.

Another brainstorm kind of thought is that it would be a good idea to have a policy statement in place if owner becomes absent. A sort of Will. This could be in the TOS or privately with Groups.io or with the Owners executors.

OK,
Tony



On 25 Aug 2017 at 10:21, Noel Leaver wrote about :
Subject : Re: [beta] Dealing with Terms of Se

> If there are two Owners then it would need both of them to press the red button and kill the
group.

I think that is a good idea, it provides a way a group can be protected against one person deleting it. More generally, all owners should have to agree.

> Or That the remaining Moderators have a vote to put the group on hold, change its name and
keep the archive etc and start again, or to kill the group.

It is likely the group contains material considered copyright by the owner, so they would be able to object to you doing this (and if you are in this situation it seems quite likely they would).

Noel


  


moderated Re: Dealing with Terms of Service violations/other complaints

James Milligan
 

It's worth remembering that not all groups are 'standalone'. The group I'm moving over to here shortly is a benefit members have when they join an organisation. Clearly, there are implications if 'anyone' can take over a group, and in this case the group is owned by the organisation (which in turn is effectively owned by the members, so we go full circle in this specific case, but you can see where I'm going with this for normal businesses and so on).

If there's only one owner, regardless of whether it's free or paid, they're the owner of the group, ultimately it's their call what they do with it. If your community(ies) don't want that to happen, then you obviously don't trust the owner? What about normal websites and blogs - if they want to turn it off one day, you can't stop them...

If there are two or more owners on a group, it would be nice to have a two-step verification here, perhaps an email to the second owner that needs to be responded to within X amount of time, otherwise the action is carried out. If the two owners are in disagreement, then it's probably one for support to sort out (sorry Mark!)

Ultimately you need to weigh up how much you trust the group owners, it makes sense to have at least two for a whole raft of reasons - both mundane like normal admin, and more extreme like loss of life.


moderated Re: OWNED or ADMINISTERED #suggestion

 

I just want to add that, in brief, OWNED vrs ADMINISTERED is an issue of CONTROL, and that different levels of control are needed or wanted for different situations. Other than dealing with issues of control, there would be no differences in the operation or performance of OWNED or ADMINISTERED groups.

Everett


moderated OWNED or ADMINISTERED #suggestion

 

My back brain just won't let this go, but I'm splitting it off into its own thread.

It seems to me that there are two (as in many things in life) main ways of viewing 'groups': OWNED and ADMINISTERED (or choose the words of your preference).

An OWNED group is one that is tightly controlled by the OWNER. An example is a business that wants a 'support' group, but wants to retain absolute control over the group. This type of group is like a "living room" (to use an already coined phrase :-), and the walls, floor and ceiling can be redecorated or burned to the ground at the whim of the OWNER.

An ADMINISTERED group is one that is more loosely controlled by (usually) multiple administrators. An example is a hobby group where all the members share a common interest and want to have a voice in the running of the group. This type of group is like a "town square" where everyone is welcome and invited to build a home or set up shop, and the decisions regarding the group are made more democratically, first by the ADMINISTRATORS, and they are guided by the will of the group as a whole.

One might consider that these two could be merged into a single concept, but doing so raises a number of messy issues. Here are some of the differences in behavior that come to mind, but I know this is not an exhaustive list:

1) The OWNER generally wants to be able to add, modify, and delete content, sub-groups, the group, etc., at will, regardless of the wishes of the group membership, whereas in the ADMINISTERED mindset group, the members want a say in what happens in and to the group.
2) An OWNER may want to make sure that, regardless of what may happen to them, the group will continue (or not) according to their wishes, whereas members of an ADMINISTERED group want to make sure that the group will continue regardless of the wishes of the ADMINISTRATORS.
3) In cases of ToS violations, the OWNER is ultimately responsible for dealing with these and must answer to Groups.io appropriately. If the OWNER fails to do so, the group may be deleted or handled in whatever fashion Groups.io wishes. For ADMINISTERED groups, the ADMINISTRATORS (who answer to the group's members) are responsible for dealing with these problems and (perhaps) FILES and non-POLL messages can be blocked by Groups.io until the problem is dealt with or new ADMINISTRATORS are appointed by the membership (via POLL) to deal with the issue.
4) For OWNED groups, any OWNER may delete the group at any time. For ADMINISTERED groups, ALL administrators must agree before a group may be deleted.
5) For OWNED groups, if the OWNER(s) disappear for an extended time without an 'heir', there is no mechanism for reviving the group under new leadership. For ADMINISTERED groups, if all administrators disappear, the membership can petition Groups.io to re-administer the group (via whatever means, possibly message-ing the group for volunteers, then running a poll for election). This has long been an issue on Yahoo Groups, which they've failed miserably to deal with.
6) For OWNED groups, a single OWNER may wish to maintain absolute control of a group, but be able to designate an heir (or an ordered list of possible heirs) for their group should they disappear for a specified time (1,2,3,6,12 months?), or they may wish to have the group automatically deleted if they disappear for the specified time. Heirs might be supported for an ADMINISTERED group, but not really needed given the ability to "re-administer" a group.

I'm sure there are many other differences and situations, but I'm not attempting to be exhaustive about this, but rather to paint a picture of the different mindsets about "group ownership," and why a single method of handling these may not be the best. What's good for the goose is not necessarily good for the gander.

There would have to be a mechanism for switching a group between OWNED and ADMINISTERED, easily done in the SETTINGS, but ALL owners or administrators would have to agree before the change could be made. This could easily be handled by having a 'master' OWNER/ADMINISTRATOR setting and individual settings for each OWNER/ADMINISTRATOR. For an OWNER group, all OWNERS would have to change their setting to ADMINISTRATED before the master (effective) setting would change. All ADMINISTRATORS would have to change their setting to OWNED before the master setting would change.

Were Groups.io (i.e., Mark :-) to decide there was validity in this idea, I would imagine that all CURRENT groups would be OWNED initially by their current OWNERS, and then each group (should the OWNERS of the group wish) could change to ADMINISTERED as/when they wished.

It would be important to note the type (OWNED/ADMINISTERED) of the group on the group's home page and to clearly explain the ramifications of this when a member joins Groups.io and/or individual groups so that the members' mindsets and expectations for the group are set properly.

Obviously, Groups.io is an OWNED group :-), so all we members can do is suggest and request.

Everett


moderated Re: Dealing with Terms of Service violations/other complaints

 

If Mark wants to destroy his business this is one sure way to do it. But I'm sure he'll see the foolishness in all this. SMH.

Sent from my iPhone

On Aug 25, 2017, at 1:44 AM, Tony Moody <aim@aptech.co.za> wrote:

I'm with Everett on this one.
A possible solution:
If there are two Owners then it would need both of them to press the red button and kill the
group.

Or That the remaining Moderators have a vote to put the group on hold, change its name and
keep the archive etc and start again, or to kill the group .

OK,
Tony


On 24 Aug 2017 at 23:02, Everett Kaser wrote about :
Subject : Re: [beta] Dealing with Terms of Se

On Thu, Aug 24, 2017 at 07:43 pm, J_Catlady wrote:
It's my content in the files and the wiki, it's my work putting the group
together and maintaining it, it's my money paying for premium, it's my rules,
it's my knowledge that I have chosen to share with members, it's my time that
I have chosen to give to them, and it is simply my group. Period. I'm very
surprised at you, Brian, for thinking at all otherwise,
This has drifted a bit from the original thrust of this thread, so I'll make this one last post in an attempt to bridge the chasm of communication, and then I'll shut up about it. I've stated my position and really don't have much more to add.

However, from what you state above, it sounds like YOUR group is essentially a glorified blog (not denigrating its content or your efforts). If you create all of the content and its just there for others to read without contributing themselves, then certainly you're the only person who should determine if it remains available or not.

BUT... many groups (all of the ones to which I belong) are "group collaborations," with massive amounts of information posted by MANY different people, and that should give them some 'ownership' (lowercase 'o') in the group should the Owner (uppercase 'o', and I agree with Brian that the nomenclature is not the best) decide to leave for parts unknown. You said elsewhere "It's my living room. The members are my guests..." That's not a good analogy for MOST groups that I've seen. It's more like you the owner went into the wilderness, built a town-square, invited others to join them and build their homes and businesses around the town square, then you decide to move on and you tell everyone else, "I'm leaving, you all have to leave too, and I'm knocking down all the buildings NOW."

I don't quite understand why you have trouble seeing the collaborative nature of most 'groups'. Perhaps your groups are NOT collaborative, and in that case, I can see your point. Otherwise, it seems selfish and short-sighted.

Anyway, I've made my comment for Mark's consideration. I don't feel I need to continue to defend it further. Either he'll find interest in the idea or not, and I have more important work to do. :-)

Everett





--
J

Messages are the sole opinion of the author. Especially the fishy ones.

I wish I could shut up, but I can't, and I won't. - Desmond Tutu


moderated Re: Dealing with Terms of Service violations/other complaints

Noel Leaver
 

> If there are two Owners then it would need both of them to press the red button and kill the
group.

I think that is a good idea, it provides a way a group can be protected against one person deleting it. More generally, all owners should have to agree.

> Or That the remaining Moderators have a vote to put the group on hold, change its name and
keep the archive etc and start again, or to kill the group.

It is likely the group contains material considered copyright by the owner, so they would be able to object to you doing this (and if you are in this situation it seems quite likely they would).

Noel



moderated Re: Dealing with Terms of Service violations/other complaints

Tony Moody
 

I'm with Everett on this one.
A possible solution:
If there are two Owners then it would need both of them to press the red button and kill the
group.

Or That the remaining Moderators have a vote to put the group on hold, change its name and
keep the archive etc and start again, or to kill the group .

OK,
Tony


On 24 Aug 2017 at 23:02, Everett Kaser wrote about :
Subject : Re: [beta] Dealing with Terms of Se

On Thu, Aug 24, 2017 at 07:43 pm, J_Catlady wrote:
It's my content in the files and the wiki, it's my work putting the group
together and maintaining it, it's my money paying for premium, it's my rules,
it's my knowledge that I have chosen to share with members, it's my time that
I have chosen to give to them, and it is simply my group. Period. I'm very
surprised at you, Brian, for thinking at all otherwise,
This has drifted a bit from the original thrust of this thread, so I'll make this one last post in an attempt to bridge the chasm of communication, and then I'll shut up about it. I've stated my position and really don't have much more to add.

However, from what you state above, it sounds like YOUR group is essentially a glorified blog (not denigrating its content or your efforts). If you create all of the content and its just there for others to read without contributing themselves, then certainly you're the only person who should determine if it remains available or not.

BUT... many groups (all of the ones to which I belong) are "group collaborations," with massive amounts of information posted by MANY different people, and that should give them some 'ownership' (lowercase 'o') in the group should the Owner (uppercase 'o', and I agree with Brian that the nomenclature is not the best) decide to leave for parts unknown. You said elsewhere "It's my living room. The members are my guests..." That's not a good analogy for MOST groups that I've seen. It's more like you the owner went into the wilderness, built a town-square, invited others to join them and build their homes and businesses around the town square, then you decide to move on and you tell everyone else, "I'm leaving, you all have to leave too, and I'm knocking down all the buildings NOW."

I don't quite understand why you have trouble seeing the collaborative nature of most 'groups'. Perhaps your groups are NOT collaborative, and in that case, I can see your point. Otherwise, it seems selfish and short-sighted.

Anyway, I've made my comment for Mark's consideration. I don't feel I need to continue to defend it further. Either he'll find interest in the idea or not, and I have more important work to do. :-)

Everett



moderated Re: Dealing with Terms of Service violations/other complaints

 

On Thu, Aug 24, 2017 at 11:02 pm, Everett Kaser wrote:
Perhaps your groups are NOT collaborative, and in that case, I can see your point. Otherwise, it seems selfish and short-sighted.
Well, thanks for the compliment. ;)  I'm going to bed. You just don't seem to get it.
 
--
J

 

Messages are the sole opinion of the author. Especially the fishy ones.

I wish I could shut up, but I can't, and I won't. - Desmond Tutu


moderated Re: Dealing with Terms of Service violations/other complaints

 

On Thu, Aug 24, 2017 at 11:06 pm, Duane wrote:
I think Mark, as site owner, will need to make some sort of decision based on the ToS. That may involve something as drastic as transferring ownership of the group to another member 
No, that should NEVER be done. If necessary, delete the group. If I ever thought that my group could be "taken over" by someone not of my choosing in the (unlikely as it may be) event I do something to violate the TOU, I'd delete my group immediately and never come back.
 
--
J

 

Messages are the sole opinion of the author. Especially the fishy ones.

I wish I could shut up, but I can't, and I won't. - Desmond Tutu


moderated Re: Dealing with Terms of Service violations/other complaints

 

On Thu, Aug 24, 2017 at 11:02 pm, Everett Kaser wrote:
it sounds like YOUR group is essentially a glorified blog
No, it's not. It's a support group. Part of the support we provide is in the form of information stored in files and the wiki. Most of it is in our responses to members' questions and messages.

I don't have "trouble" seeing the "collaborative nature" of anything. Of course the group is collaborative. Of course (as someone else said) owners serve the members. In a sense, group owners are in a service business by running their groups. But none of that goes to the idea that they should require permission to delete their groups, or that they should be forced to keep them running at any time. In fact, quite the opposite.
 
--
J

 

Messages are the sole opinion of the author. Especially the fishy ones.

I wish I could shut up, but I can't, and I won't. - Desmond Tutu


moderated Re: Dealing with Terms of Service violations/other complaints

 

On Thu, Aug 24, 2017 at 08:24 pm, Joseph Lee wrote:
I think J might be saying the below argument due to the fact that owners have complete control, including policies set forth for a group.
No, that's not at all why. 

for some organizations that demand high levels of loyalty, this works
I don't care about "loyalty." I care about factual accuracy in the group so that cats aren't made sicker by their owners taking bad advice or reading grossly incorrect information. And I care about being forced to allow someone who is probably totally unqualified to take over the group. All my good work would have been undone. 

The talk about "sharing" and the group members "owning" the group is all very warm and fuzzy but has nothing to do with whether or not group owners should be forced to have a succession plan, or to keep their groups going if they don't want to, or to be forced to let someone else take over the group if they decide to abandon it or are incapacitated. None of those are remotely acceptable my opinion, and it's inconceivable to me that Mark would give the slightest thought to implementing any of them. I hope I'm not wrong.

Urge group owners to be responsible. Suggest to them that if their group grows large and people are becoming depending on the group that they have a succession plan. But DON'T force it on them.
 
--
J

 

Messages are the sole opinion of the author. Especially the fishy ones.

I wish I could shut up, but I can't, and I won't. - Desmond Tutu


moderated Re: Dealing with Terms of Service violations/other complaints

Duane
 

I believe this topic was intended to discuss what should happen if a ToS violation is found in a group, not the policies of any specific group and/or owner. If it's a member that is violating the terms, the group management should be able to handle it after being notified. (I would suggest a follow up after 48-72 hours, but allow a week for results due to various situations.) If they won't, or are involved in the incident, I think Mark, as site owner, will need to make some sort of decision based on the ToS. That may involve something as drastic as transferring ownership of the group to another member so the offender can be demoted to member status or even removed from the site, if appropriate. Incorporating the suggestions and ideas in the first 6 replies in this thread would seem to cover most situations though.

Duane

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