FAQ's about linking, TOS and code of conduct.

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FAQ's about linking, TOS and code of conduct.

Fred Petrenko Fred Petrenko
This is an announcement, not a discussion. So please do not get upset about this thread not enabling response posts. We are not looking to create long-winded arguments on the forum. We just wanted to make an announcement so that everyone would know what is going on.

We have gotten some questions, both privately and publicly, which we would like to address. Hope this Q & A is helpful to those who may be confused, upset or curious.

Why do you guys sometimes close threads?
Why did you delete posts?
Why did you disable some people’s accounts without even warning them?

Closing threads, disabling accounts, and deleting posts are last resorts for us – these are the measures we take when a situation gets completely out of hand. By this, we mean when people started posting things that are libelous, defamatory and openly expose them to legal actions. These are the type of accusations that a person can only make with solid proof on hand, an understanding of civil matters and federal / state laws.

Moreover, if one individual dislikes another individual, public forums are not the place for civilized people to settle their scores – there are courts for this. And if one individual dislikes many other individuals from one social group, this individual should probably separate themselves or be separated from the group altogether.

Is there a lot going on behind the scenes that we don’t know about? Are there changes being made?

There is not much is going on behind the scenes. We all have work to do, most of which shows the final result in the features and programs you love so much here on the site. We have changed our plans and adjusted our schedules to deal with some of this drama; however, most of our current projects will not be postponed.
We are updating our Terms of Service, our Expectations of Conduct, and how we handle conflict in general. We have learned from the recent events and are applying that experience in some of these revisions.

What does this linking stuff really mean for reviewers and writers?

There has never been an intention, or agreement, or any commitment to link back to a writer. Anyone who writes for us gets paid for every article and there is no clause in the contractual agreement that both parties sign that says anything about linking back to an author’s blog/ site/ page.

We do offer a link back for our off-site reviewers as a courtesy to the reader who wants to continue reading the review beyond the summary that is posted on Eden Fantasys. However, this has never been intended as a link exchange agreement. The link back to the review on the blog is inserted by the reviewer during the submission process. Being User Generated Content (UGC), the URL is encapsulated in a JavaScript that allows security protection, tracking, and transferring of traffic to the blog. We use this technology because we chose to do so.
In the 3+ years that the Review Program has been growing, there has never been any question regarding the linking prior to now (May 2010). The page source is open for everyone to see, and we have never kept it hidden.

Seriously, are you doing anything illegal?

No, absolutely not. There is nothing illegal or even suspicious in our business practices. If you are told differently, you’ve been told a lie and we urge you to think twice before you act on it. Please contact us for any specific details you would like explained.

Are you really going to get in trouble with Google?

We absolutely do not violate the Webmaster Guidelines – we are confident in it.
Our professional webmasters do program the website in a full compliance with W3C standards, the webmaster guidelines, and other authoritative organizations. We are confident in our high reputation with the major search engines.

Why are some people so angry at you guys?

Most people love us, but some people hate us. This has always been the way it goes for successful, innovative companies – which is what EdenFantasys is. If you read negative posts about us, look a few lines below or to the side, you will always find our competition’s promos. The simple answer would be – competition.

Why did you say those other sites link the same way when they don't? The Java use is similar but actual linking is different.

This is a high-tech talk and it needs to be discussed on a case-by-case basis. However, from what we see, in general, the confusion comes from people who are not differentiating the user-generated content (UGC) from the editorial content. The editorial external links on the cited examples do work differently, but this is because they are inserted by the editorial staff and are checked manually. To compare apples-to-apples, one needs to try to insert a link into those sites oneself – making it a UGC link. This handling needs to be compared with how EF handles the UGC links. However, the exact coding might differ a bit from Eden’s but the final result will be same – the user inserted link won’t work with JavaScript disabled. Try it the right way, to compare, and you will see.

Why did you disable the accounts of people for things they said on Twitter?

These were a few instances when it was absolutely obvious those people had already formed their opinions and there is nothing that could be done to convince them otherwise. Some were actively campaigning against Eden on Twitter and elsewhere, others were simply announcing that they were done with us.

We already had episodes of people deleting reviews and profiles, which was against the TOS since they'd received a product in exchange for those links and reviews, we felt it necessary to take protective action to prevent others from doing so.

We apologize if this action was a mistake and we promise the prompt reinstatement after email correspondence and agreement with the contributors.

Will we get our affiliate commissions if we've been banned?

Of course. Upon the closing of the period (end of month), all commissions will be paid. Moreover, one can continue being an affiliate while banned / having a disabled account. These are two independent things. We also encourage you to email us to get reinstated.

Do you only allow positive reviews? I'm not sure what negativity means and now I'm afraid to post anything that's not positive.

Of course not. There are actually more negative reviews than positive in our overall review catalog. The negative reviews help us greatly in deciding whether to continue stocking those products. Please be honest, but not rude, angry or overly emotional. The negativity in general means when one's actions, comments, votes, tweets constantly hurt other people. Please be courteous to each other. Have fun and be cool!

Cooling Off Period – what it is and how does it work?

The ‘Cooling Off Period’ is a form of martial law on our forums, so to speak. When in times of total unrest, we will do what is necessary to diffuse the situation, including: deleting posts and threads, disabling accounts and limiting the access to the website. Again, last week was the first time we ever had to actually apply the Cooling Off Period. Our other alternative would have been to shut down the entire forum, but that would be extremely unfair to the people are not involved in the current drama.

More details will be published soon regarding the changes to the Terms of Service.

Please email any questions to gary@edenfantasys.com
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