Community announcement - Contributor Banned

Gary Gary
We at Eden work really hard for the community - making it a safe, fun, and informative place to visit and to be enjoyed by any person. This is a 24/7 job, which requires all of our passion, attention and collective efforts.

However, there is a member of our community, Epiphora, that is having an adverse effect on the positive culture at EF – we get continuous complaints about her drama, rudeness, and overall negativity.

Today we collectively decided to ban her from the community. The decision is final and supported by the owner.
  •   (3)
    I am personally offended by this
  •   (3)
    This is unacceptable / Against the Expectations of Conduct
  •   (2)
    Spam
05/12/2010
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carnivalesq carnivalesq
Quote:
Originally posted by Gary
We at Eden work really hard for the community - making it a safe, fun, and informative place to visit and to be enjoyed by any person. This is a 24/7 job, which requires all of our passion, attention and collective efforts.

However, there is a ... More
For a community that, just the other day, was making welcome threads to greet new members, it's pretty appalling to see this thread dedicated to publicly humiliating Epiphora. If you had to disable her account, you did not need to publicly announce it in the forums as well.

I hope new members see what may one day happen to them; when they speak up with their opinions and their constructive criticism in an open forum, it will be decided internally, by the company and the owner, that they are harmful, rude, etc., and will be banned.
05/12/2010
ToyTimeTim ToyTimeTim
Quote:
Originally posted by Gary
We at Eden work really hard for the community - making it a safe, fun, and informative place to visit and to be enjoyed by any person. This is a 24/7 job, which requires all of our passion, attention and collective efforts.

However, there is a ... More
I support this decision.
One of the great things about this community is the positive culture that is here!
It is the main reason I joined.
Keep up the good work!
05/12/2010
Autumn Heath-Heald Autumn Heath-Heald
That is kind of crass. I will be certain not to bother being involved in this community. Especially since bannings are handled in such a disagreeable manner. That certainly doesn't promote 'a positive culture', in fact it does just the opposite. It shows what a petty, rude and immature attitude the forum staff and thus the owners (because everything you do reflects on the company). I certainly will not buy any products from Eden Fantasys (spell check always comes in handy when naming a company, FYI).
05/12/2010
LicentiouslyYours LicentiouslyYours
Quote:
Originally posted by carnivalesq
For a community that, just the other day, was making welcome threads to greet new members, it's pretty appalling to see this thread dedicated to publicly humiliating Epiphora. If you had to disable her account, you did not need to publicly ... More
This thread is not about humiliating anyone. It has always been Eden's policy to be transparent about it's decisions to take disciplinary action or to ban a community member who is disruptive.
05/12/2010
Snappy Snappy
It is difficult to make the decision to ban a community member. Thank you.
05/12/2010
mivox mivox
Quote:
Originally posted by LicentiouslyYours
This thread is not about humiliating anyone. It has always been Eden's policy to be transparent about it's decisions to take disciplinary action or to ban a community member who is disruptive.
If threads like this are an established EF policy, that doesn't say much for EF's ability to handle community conflict in a mature and non-confrontational manner. How ironic, given Epi apparently got banned for being too confrontational, no?

Whether this thread is supposed to be "about" humiliation or not, it is exactly that. It is a public slap in the face. I have past experience as a forum moderator, and no matter what a member did to end up banned we never announced it on the public forums, and we CERTAINLY never answered any inquiries about someone's ban with editorial adjectives like "drama, rudeness and overall negativity". We warned the member privately, and if they continued with their troublesome behavior, they were sent a private message notifying them their posting rights had been revoked.

But let's call a spade a spade, shall we? This thread is also a veiled threat to new members, "Make sure you don't piss anyone off. Stuff your opinions if you must, just don't upset anyone or you're out of here." That's just distasteful. Everyone who signs up as a member here should know the rules of the forum, and if the moderators feel someone is breaking them, they shouldn't need to explain why to everyone else. If an explanation is actually necessary, the rules obviously need to be clarified, and the explanation/clarificat ion should be written in such a way that it works perfectly well without naming names.
05/12/2010
JustYourAverageGuy JustYourAverageGuy
I am in total support of EF's being a community that re-enforces the positive message of sex and sexuality.

While I understand that being a member here is a privilege and that membership could be removed at any time if you become disruptive or in violation of the terms of membership here, I find that publicly announcing the banning of a member who is negative is a bit hypocritical. The topic message in this post in and of itself is negative and unnecessary. It shows that not only will you be removed, you will be called out publicly to the community, which does not give the tone of a positive community. Remember, the admins set the tone at the top here... If you don't display this mantra, why the heck should we?

I am not disputing the removal of a member as I do not know the specific circumstances of the member's posts/relations to justify such an action. I am disputing this post as unnecessary and damaging. Let the member go quietly, just as you would if you got laid off or fired from a job. If they wish to announce their dismissal, give them the opportunity as a "last right" on the site, and leave the publicity to them.
05/12/2010
♥ Amanda ♥ ♥ Amanda ♥
Quote:
Originally posted by Gary
We at Eden work really hard for the community - making it a safe, fun, and informative place to visit and to be enjoyed by any person. This is a 24/7 job, which requires all of our passion, attention and collective efforts.

However, there is a ... More
Wow! I did not realize that you could get banned. Craziness. But I am sure EF made the right decision.
05/12/2010
♥ Amanda ♥ ♥ Amanda ♥
Quote:
Originally posted by Gary
We at Eden work really hard for the community - making it a safe, fun, and informative place to visit and to be enjoyed by any person. This is a 24/7 job, which requires all of our passion, attention and collective efforts.

However, there is a ... More
Wow! I did not realize that you could get banned. Craziness. But I am sure EF made the right decision.
05/12/2010
Elodie Elodie
I've been on a lot of forums, but never one that publicly announced banning a member like this unless the member actually did something illegal, or was outed as a sock for someone else. This makes me uncomfortable.
05/12/2010
Adriana Ravenlust Adriana Ravenlust
I appreciate that the staff must make difficult decisions, even unpopular ones. I understand that my bottom line as a reviewer and community member is not the same as that as EdenFantasys as a business. As always, I appreciate transparency. Indeed, the majority of complaints I have ever had about EF have been because of a lack of transparency but to have us believe that this post is simply about being transparent and not about being passive aggressive, you must believe we are all ignorant. I strongly believe this type of behaviour is offensive to everyone in the community.

Furthermore, I understand that there has been at least one other member who has been suspended and given the chance to rejoin the community without a public announcement being made. I am unsure why the staff feels that Epiphora could not also be given this courtesy which is even written into the new expectations of conduct. "The disciplined member will always have the right to defend himself/herself and try to make amends. "

In the end, there are both staff and other reviewers here who are my friends and those who are not. Some folks I'd rather not go skipping through a field of flowers with and that's okay because I know that others feel the same about me. More importantly, I know that a successful community needs that type of diversity and I believe EdenFantasys has the potential to be one of (if not the most) successful sex toy communities online but a community without variation is a community without value. And Epiphora has always been a valuable asset as a toy reviewer.

Because building this community really adds to both my bottom line and EdenFantasys' bottom line, I hope this decision was one which was made rationally, not out of spite or because of personal vendettas--which can sometimes happen when humans are involved. Whether or not this decision sticks, I think the community deserves an apology.
05/12/2010
Cinnamon Cinnamon
I honestly don't see the need to name names here. I was only able to find one other thread announcing the banning of a member from this site, and there were no names in that thread.

To be honest, if this is such a positive community and everyone is allowed to speak openly and honestly, I don't see the harm in a little controversy. I'm also wondering if the "internal" people don't mind naming the person being banned, and claim total transparency, why aren't the complainers also being called out? I really feel this situation is a little one sided, and Epiphora should be given a chance to speak her side. She should be able to face her accusers and know what exactly in detail just what she's being accused of.
05/12/2010
JustYourAverageGuy JustYourAverageGuy
Quote:
Originally posted by mivox
If threads like this are an established EF policy, that doesn't say much for EF's ability to handle community conflict in a mature and non-confrontational manner. How ironic, given Epi apparently got banned for being too confrontational, ... More
I definitely agree with you here. I had a bit of a disagreement with another member, who will not be named, in the last month and I brought the issue to the admins. They in turn looked into the complaint and told me they saw nothing distasteful, even though I felt a bit bullied by this member. All I was told was that both me and the other member had been warned and to leave it at that.... I felt like my feelings were blown off and ignored... The problem didn't stop as I received a message from this member a week later after I asked them not to contact me anymore with the same bullying type of remarks. Luckily it has stopped since... My point is that the admins didn't really step in to resolve the conflict.

I also recently wrote a review that was, well... not well received by the community. It was a bit race-y and contained same controversial comments in it and I got some negative feedback from other members about it. I decided I was in the wrong and changed the review as to not offend others. I did not need an admin to tell me these things...

But what if I didn't change it? Would I risk being banned because I took a chance at being controversial? According to this post, if there were enough complaints, I probably would have.

On a site where the members give personal accounts of their experiences of a product, I find it a bit odd that the company is sending the message of "don't piss anyone off or you are out of here." It takes away the freedom to speak your mind. This is especially concerning as many of the topics on this site are in and of themselves controversial.

What results? People afraid to speak their mind and say how they truly feel out of fear of being banned. This is counter productive and really alienates the members here. It makes me question if I can be honest about my thoughts on the forum and in my reviews. It might be enough to convince me to cease writing reviews until a policy is in place that is tasteful and respectful of its members, all of them.
05/12/2010
Dangerous Lilly Dangerous Lilly
I will fully admit that even though I review for EF, I'm not active in the forums. So I don't know if Epiphora was "disruptive" or not, I have no clue what might have caused your decision.

But from the sounds of it....neither does Epiphora. And between that and calling her out publicly...it makes me leery. And I'd say that no matter who you were banning. You say it's policy but I wasn't aware of that policy, nor have I seen it before. This doesn't seem very positive and friendly.

I can fully appreciate rules and guidelines and being upset if someone doesn't follow them. But I don't understand this thread; if you were trying to make an example out of her, why not give us actual examples? It feels like a lynching, whether your intent was such or not. You're going to get one of two basic responses here. Disagreement to your actions, or bandwagon "yeah she sux good riddance". How is that productive? I just don't get it.
05/12/2010
Juliettia Juliettia
Perhaps I'm dense but I was under the impression set forth by the new conduct rules that not only would the disciplined member have the right to defend himself/herself and try to make amends, but that they would also get a warning to straighten up in a private message. Not an outright ban with NO explanation of why they were banned aside from, "This is final."

This ban is quite interesting as I've witnessed a few other contributors act in a more actively and far worse manner than Epiphora who have never received a warning, ban, or other repercussion. It seems that certain contributors are being singled out.

You cannot expect a large community such as this to agree, be positive, delightful, and drama-free 100% of the time. It is simply impossible as everyone has their own differing opinions. This is how the human race learns is by conflict and resolution. If things were to get too heated it was my understanding that is what the flag system and cooling off period of the thread was for.

Diversity is what makes a community great not a llama farm. If this is the approach that EF plans to take for any future conflicts, then I honestly worry just what the future holds for this forum.
05/12/2010
Gary Gary
We are not at all trying to make anyone feel threatened or impose some kind of police state – quite the opposite! We are listening to concerns and taking action – it has been coming for a long time. This decision came from the top and was for the best interest of the community. To give a list of specific examples is to betray the trust of some of the people who came to us in confidence and were too intimidated to even flag some posts or retort back in comments.

You know we do not censor or delete threads, posts etc. So to say that we do is completely false.

We have publicly announced the one ban and acknowledged the one suspension we’ve imposed in the past – not to humiliate anyone, but to be open about it. Otherwise we know we’d have complaints about secrecy and threads about it popping up anyway.

We will likely revise our Expectation of Conduct to be more specific. We had the best intentions when creating a loose and flexible code of conduct, but it appears we might have to revisit it. As most of you know, we are open to suggestions and are always changing to accommodate the needs of the community, so handling issues has been a learning experience for us too. We just want people to feel safe here – to not have to walk on eggshells or be fearful of being bullied or mocked. Seriously, that’s why we did this.
05/12/2010
Adriana Ravenlust Adriana Ravenlust
Quote:
Originally posted by Gary
We are not at all trying to make anyone feel threatened or impose some kind of police state – quite the opposite! We are listening to concerns and taking action – it has been coming for a long time. This decision came from the top and was for the ... More
I'm not sure if you're paying attention here but no one wants you to say "Member X contacted us about issue Y". We DON'T want you to call people out because that is part of the problem. We just think it was unfair that no one even contacted Epiphora especially because, as far as I know, none of her posts have even been flagged. And then to publicly call her out with this snide post but try to protect those who had issue?

The responses here have been from members new and old. Friends of Epiphora and those who don't know her from squat. We are all concerned about this decision and the announcement. Your community is telling you this is not the way to do things for "the best interest of the community." We just want you to listen.

I would also like to add that some people may be uncomfortable with Epiphora or any other member and, thus, privately contact the staff but the outpouring from this very community via e-mail, Twitter, PM and other methods has shown that members are now just as afraid of the staff, otherwise they would also be posting.
05/12/2010
Champagne and Benzedrine (Roland Hulme) Champagne and Benzedrine (Roland Hulme)
I can't believe anybody's even making a fuss about there being a public announcement? Epiphora's bound to mention her ban on her blog and in twitter immediately, so it's better that EF are upfront and announce what they did, instead of not saying a thing and letting rumor and innuendo carve out what people *think* happened.

I've been a member of only a few forums, but as far as I know it's totally normal to announce the banning of a member, either by a post or by a big, red BANNED sticker on their avatar on all their old posts.

It would be nice to know exactly what she did wrong, but assuming that there was a reason for the ban, I have no problem with the way EF handled it.

Also, having been told to simmer down a couple of times by EF staffers for my more aggressive arguing with Toygirl, I know that there are standards of behavior we're meant to operate within and refusing to do so has consequences - for all of us.
05/12/2010
Juliettia Juliettia
Quote:
Originally posted by Champagne and Benzedrine (Roland Hulme)
I can't believe anybody's even making a fuss about there being a public announcement? Epiphora's bound to mention her ban on her blog and in twitter immediately, so it's better that EF are upfront and announce what they did, instead ... More
Regardless of Epiphora's response on her blog, if she decides to do so, that isn't the point. The point is that as far as anyone is aware she never received any warnings or flags about her "negativeness". If she never received any warnings then how was she refusing to operate within the standards of behavior? It appears all she was doing was voicing her opinion, even if it wasn't in the best manner.

The fuss is about the fact that in the conduct rules it states that the accused would have a chance to defend himself/herself, and none of that was followed. Instead there was a ban followed by this thread which those who are not afraid to be the voice of disagreement have stated this was not the correct way to go about things.

Honestly this whole ordeal leaves me curious if I can expect to see any of the other members who have acted in a worse manner than what can be seen from Epiphora this past month suddenly having "Contributor Banned" threads without warning as well.
05/12/2010
Champagne and Benzedrine (Roland Hulme) Champagne and Benzedrine (Roland Hulme)
Quote:
Originally posted by Juliettia
Regardless of Epiphora's response on her blog, if she decides to do so, that isn't the point. The point is that as far as anyone is aware she never received any warnings or flags about her "negativeness". If she never received any ... More
Having followed Epiphora's career for a couple of years now, I think it's fair to say that her negativity has been flagged MANY times in MANY different forums before.

This ban is a lesson to all of us that Eden Fantasies is about promoting sex positivity - and that starts with POSITIVITY.

Besides, knowing Gary, Victora and Lauren, I don't think this is a decision they undertook lightly - and probably came from pressure above from the 'powers that be' at EF. Don't blame them. This post was their attempt to do the right thing, not shame anybody.
05/12/2010
namelesschaos namelesschaos
Quote:
Originally posted by Champagne and Benzedrine (Roland Hulme)
I can't believe anybody's even making a fuss about there being a public announcement? Epiphora's bound to mention her ban on her blog and in twitter immediately, so it's better that EF are upfront and announce what they did, instead ... More
You inventively demonstrated my problem with this thread. Yes I have seen people post about a member being banned on other forums, ether immediately after the members last post or in a thread dedicated toward those types of announcement i.e a thread discussing all bans/disciplinary actions. What I haven't seen before, and I find inappropriate and shaming here is having an entire thread dedicated towards one person's banning.
05/12/2010
Champagne and Benzedrine (Roland Hulme) Champagne and Benzedrine (Roland Hulme)
Quote:
Originally posted by namelesschaos
You inventively demonstrated my problem with this thread. Yes I have seen people post about a member being banned on other forums, ether immediately after the members last post or in a thread dedicated toward those types of announcement i.e a thread ... More
Sorry, that's what I meant.

In another forum I belonged to, they had the BANNED thread and kept it updated.

I don't see what other choice they had - you can't just ban a prolific commenter like Piph and then not mention it, hoping nobody would notice.

I'm sure it wasn't an easy decision; they made it, announced it and here we are, able to discuss it.
05/12/2010
Elodie Elodie
Quote:
Originally posted by Champagne and Benzedrine (Roland Hulme)
Having followed Epiphora's career for a couple of years now, I think it's fair to say that her negativity has been flagged MANY times in MANY different forums before.

This ban is a lesson to all of us that Eden Fantasies is about ... More
I've only been here a very short time. I don't know Epiphora. I don't know what she did. I've been trying to figure it out, because I'd hate to do the same thing. I don't know if it's something I could stumble into doing, because "negativity" could mean virtually anything.

Publicly punishing someone for doing something, and not making crystal clear precisely what that something is, creates an atmosphere of fear and distrust. I hope this can be cleared up quickly, because it's all leaving a very bad taste in my mouth.
05/12/2010
J's Alley J's Alley
I must say, this is all ridiculous. I clicked on this forum expecting there to be some major issue that the staff felt they needed to address, but there was none. Rather, there was a public humiliation that was totally unnecessary. Whether that humiliation was intended or not, it was achieved. It is embarrassing, and unwarranted.

The one suspension announced unfolded on the forums and everyone saw it happen. There was no need to state that Epiphora was banned. I have no issue with the actual banning (except that she doesn't know why); the issue was the uncalled for humiliation directed toward her by issuing a thread that the staff must have known everyone would read. You can't say you didn't because a title like "community announcement" is requesting for us all to see it. That is public humiliation whether you call it that or not. And it is mean. I would call it something else, but to me there is nothing worse than down right mean, and that is what this thread was intended as.

There was no need to say "community announcement" on this thread. All that did was make everyone look and make Epiphora look bad for, what I can see, no reason at all. We all have differing opinions, that is what makes us people. If someone felt threatened (even though this is just an internet forum and physical harm is not likely) I can see a ban. But to call everyone's attention to it was wrong.

I would have no problem with a list of banned members or whatever (not that it is anyone's business in the first place), but this was rude and disrespectful and I cannot see how it could have possibly been an accident. The name of the post alone is enough to prove that. The suspension that took place did not receive its own thread calling everyone's attention to it. I believe Epiphora deserves the same amount of respect, and even an apology. As far as that goes I fully agree with EVERYTHING Adriana had to say in her first post (and following ones as well).

I don't think the EF staff is bad, I just think this was not well thought out at all.
05/12/2010
DONOTSHOPHERETHEOWNERISPSYCHO DONOTSHOPHERETHEOWNERISPSYCHO
Quote:
Originally posted by Elodie
I've only been here a very short time. I don't know Epiphora. I don't know what she did. I've been trying to figure it out, because I'd hate to do the same thing. I don't know if it's something I could stumble into doing, ... More
This is kind of how I feel about it. There's an inconsistency about the whole thing, because I've seen other people who I felt were as intimidating/negative as some people feel about Epiphora and they're still around. It makes me kind of scared to contribute for fear of saying something that someone will be upset about and report me over. It's very, very easy for things to be miscommunicated through text, considering there is no body language or voice inflection to dictate what someone means. Plus, not everyone takes criticism of something they worked hard on well.
05/12/2010
J's Alley J's Alley
Crap...I forgot the entire last sentence. I wanted to suggest that EF staff not repeat this event in the future, or at least find a better way. It seems that the public posting has upset several people and raised a lot of concerns. It might be better in the future not to post a banning in its own thread. Just a suggestion though
05/12/2010
Jenn (aka kissmykitty) Jenn (aka kissmykitty)
Hey guys, Jenn here. I'm one of the newest members to the Eden Fantasys team, so while I haven't been around nearly as long as some of you, I hope you'll still take the time to read what I have to say, and respect my opinion. While I'm new to Eden Fantasys, I am not new to the internet, or to the situations that are common with an online forum.

First, I know that no community is without drama. Where there are a lot of people, there are a lot of differing opinions. There are bound to be disagreements, and there is bound to be the occasional bout of drama to go along with those disagreements. That's just how people are. I understand it, I get it. We all do. But, there is a big difference between the occasional spat between members and minor flare-ups of drama, and a group of people who seem to make starting and continuing drama a part of their daily routine. And believe me, I am familiar with forum politics, as I have been running a message board of my own for close to eight years now. And what has been going on here, within this community, is not just the "norm". It's more than that. And it needs to stop. To be perfectly honest with you, I myself have felt uncomfortable participating in the forums -- and I work for Eden Fantasys! I was first introduced to the forums in December of 2009, and despite being an outgoing individual who is not afraid to talk about sex or jump into discussions, I felt a little intimidated and more than put off by the negative, cliquish behavior that I witnessed, both here and on some of the reviews I came across.

As the Off-site Program Manager for Eden Fantasys, I have been working hard to not only introduce Eden Fantasys to parts of the blogosphere that have never before heard of us, but also to get them comfortable with us. And that's hard to do when there are people undermining that work, effort and fragile trust by seeking out reviews to vote down, leave snotty comments on, etc. This goes hand in hand with what I said in my thread about the Off-site Review Program -- bloggers have their own voices, just as all of you do, and they're entitled to use those voices to present their reviews, even if they do so in a manner that you don't agree with or find appealing -- or on a blog whose layout you don't find to be visually appealing.

In terms of publicly announcing our decision to ban Epiphora, I hope you understand that we all spent quite a bit of time debating how to handle this situation. Epiphora's recent behavior is nothing new; we made the decision to permanently ban her because she is a repeat offender, and the fact that she is a repeat offender clearly shows that she has no regard or respect for the community -- that includes all of you, not just the "community" in terms of the forums here on Eden Fantasys and the EF staff.

As far as to announce publicly or not, we also debated that long and hard. In the end, we felt it to be a good choice to publicly acknowledge the ban, rather than do it without acknowledging it. We felt -- and still do feel -- that if we had done that, the community would have been unhappy with us for doing something "secretly" and not being transparent. We do step up to the plate and offer full transparency, and we're still ripped a new one for it. Damned if you do, damned if you don't, I suppose. On a related note, this isn't the first time we have publicly accounced the banning of a contributor (link). And the last time we did, the banning was welcomed with open arms. Now, I understand that there is a big difference between a contributor using hateful terminology and making light of serious issues, and a contributor who spreads around negativity and drama like wildfire, but that doesn't mean that what Epiphora is responsible for doing isn't deserving of the same repercussions.

Bottom line, we want the Eden Fantasys community to be a welcoming one that is open to everyone. Thus far it isn't being represented as that type of community, and we have decided to be firmer in our approach with members who visit here only to spread negativity and drama. I apologize if our decision to go public seems like a lynching; I assure you that is not the case at all. We do not want to make any member of the community feel uneasy or distrustful. Please bear with us as we do our best to be firmer in enforcing the guidelines and rules of the community, and please understand that we are not out to censor anyone for their opinions. You are free to speak your mind here at Eden Fantasys. You are not free, however, to spread around negativity and drama, or to deliberately criticize or insult other members just for the sake of doing so.
  •   (3)
    I am personally offended by this
05/12/2010
Jenn (aka kissmykitty) Jenn (aka kissmykitty)
Also, I feel it's worth mentioning that we welcome your feedback on this, because in the end, it's the community that does matter to us. We don't want to create distrust or fear, we don't want to beat around the bush or not say anything at all. We're trying to be as open and as transparent as possible. I'm sorry if we have offended you or caused further harm by posting publicly about Epiphora's ban; please trust me when I say that we're only trying to do good for the community. It is definitely a learning experience for all of us.
05/12/2010
Elodie Elodie
I am now completely uncomfortable with voting or commenting on any review unless I think it's stellar.
05/12/2010
Total posts: 100
Unique posters: 48