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osb_tensor

Offsite Linking/References

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@tonycpsu so i'm going to ask for some policy clarification regarding the post linked above.

1) there are links to websites all of the time, referencing rankings, lists, articles, or news blurbs regarding players and/or teams which are discussed at length. how is this different?

1a) if the policy violation is claimed under the guise of forbidden self-promotion, i don't believe @taobball has linked to any outside websites, has he? it's been other members referencing his rankings, which is why i asked question number one. typically, rankings written at other outlets are acceptable for debate among members.

2) @taobball 's his most recent posts were linking to google documents, not to another website. how does this violate policy? if he had posted it in a forum comment, would this make it acceptable? seems like this is semantics and i'm having trouble following the logic, under the assumption these specific posts violated policy.

thx for any clarification you can provide.

 

Edited by osb_tensor

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4 hours ago, osb_tensor said:

1) there are links to websites all of the time, referencing rankings, lists, articles, or news blurbs regarding players and/or teams which are discussed at length. how is this different?

 

People posting links to sites and discussing articles or venues they're not personally / professionally attached to: cool.

 

People posting links to sites and discussing articles or venues that they're personally / professionally attached to: not cool.

 

4 hours ago, osb_tensor said:

1a) if the policy violation is claimed under the guise of forbidden self-promotion, i don't believe @taobball has linked to any outside websites, has he?

 

He linked to MLFS in this post announcing his new gig:

 

 

I, for one, was very happy for him to get the opportunity, and we let that one slide.

 

Later on, he posted a direct link to one of his pieces in that thread, since deleted.  At this point, we as mods are basically having to look the other way.  Tao's earned a lot of good will around here, but at some point we have to have a policy that's enforced equitably, not just based on how much we like the person involved.

 

Meanwhile, the proprietor of his the site, @cdrob317, has been in that thread promoting Tao's posts at MLFS.  He's earned no such good will, has no track record here, and seems to be just interested in using RW to pimp his site.  If any of us had followed the thread more closely, that would have been nipped in the bud much sooner, as it's such a blatant example of why this policy exists

 

 

4 hours ago, osb_tensor said:

's his most recent posts were linking to google documents, not to another website. how does this violate policy? if he had posted it in a forum comment, would this make it acceptable? seems like this is semantics and i'm having trouble following the logic, under the assumption these specific posts violated policy.

 

They were google documents of pieces set to be published at MLFS.  If he had posted the same content in a Rotoworld forum post and published it at MLFS, it would still be against the rules.  These forums don't exist so you can build an audience for your content elsewhere or workshop your content before publication.

 

Tao's analysis is good, and I hope he continues to share it.  But this was a clear violation of the letter and spirit of the CoC's prohibition on self-promotion.

 

EDIT: Tao has explained that the Google docs were for his rankings content, not to be posted at MLFS.  I take him at his word, and apologize for the misunderstanding on that aspect of this whole kerfuffle.

 

 

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[ One removed.  We are *not* dragging baggage from private messages into here.  I stand corrected about where the stuff from the google docs was going to go, why proofreaders were being sought, etc.  The fact that it's so difficult to divine intent here illustrates the problems that come from conflating one's work for the community with work published elsewhere. ]

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i won't quote your entire response, but i agree/understand most everything.

i would have had a response on the google docs, but i think that's already been cleared up. no concerns or worries with those, correct?

if i want to discuss tao's rankings and why i think they're crappy/awesome, i can do so, but he can't initiate the conversation. can he participate in discussion started by others, answering questions about how or why he came to those conclusions?

lastly, the only change from current practice is that tao can't link to his outside work (nor can the other guy who runs the site)? this has only occurred twice, using info from your response, once last december (which i would argue wasn't necessarily promoting outside work at the time, but that's another issue and probably not worth the discussion), and one other time which has been removed. can i ask when the removal post happened? was it something recent? i feel like the entire basis for your recent post was concern related to the google docs, and not outside linking, and the concern has has now been dismissed. no clarification has been posted in the forum topic that his unique/original player evaluations may continue, should it be? or is tao knowing good enough?

am i understanding everything correctly?

my overall thoughts: this could have been resolved with a simple private message to @taobball and @cdrob317 saying not to post links to his MLFS work (and maybe it was, i'm not privy to that info). i'm not sure why the public shaming had to occur. the issue stemmed from someone making incorrect assumptions about his most recent work (i.e., the google docs), which created the whole "kerfuffle," as you put it. i hope there is a lesson learned here, which is to get the facts before making accusations.

Edited by osb_tensor

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Your assessment of the situation is incorrect, @osb_tensor.  Let me try to explain how we got here.

 

This is not "public shaming" by any means.  We did reach out to @tao, and had a lengthy discussion about how to resolve this matter.  I'm not going to get into the particulars of that private discussion, but the end result was a compromise that's actually far more liberal than the rules allow for, where @tao would be free to maintain his own rankings thread in Baseball Talk (we don't typically allow this -- there's a separate forum for community rankings to avoid Baseball Talk getting cluttered), and would be allowed to put a "dead" (not clickable) link in his signature to his author page at MLFS, the index page for his podcasts, or whatever.


Extending these courtesies to @tao puts us in a position where we might be accused of favoritism by someone else who wants to post *their* rankings in Baseball Talk, but given that @tao's been such a positive contributor to the community and that the thread evolved somewhat organically and not out of a desire to skirt the rules, we decided to let it slide.

 

Regarding your questions about discussing rankings: for as long as that thread exists -- and, again, I can't say for certain that we won't have to revisit this if others are abusing it, but for right now, our decision is to grant an exemption here -- folks are more than welcome to discuss the rankings, debate them, etc.  @tao seems to have decided to go in another direction, but that is his choice -- we've offered a path forward where he'd be free to continue doing community things for the community and outside things for outside interests, as long as there are bright lines between the two.

 

The problem in this case was that the thread was being used both as a special vanity thread for @tao's rankings and a place where he and his editor could plug his posts on another site.  Going forward, that thread needs to be about the community content only.  Again, @tao is free to drop dead links into his sig for his outside pursuits, so I don't see why this is such a big ask.

 

With regard to your concerns about the  timing: I noticed @tao's post announcing his new gig when he got it.  At the time, I thought we could let one link to it go as long as it didn't become a pattern.  Then he posted another article, and then @cdrob317 got involved, which I unfortunately didn't notice, as I've been busy organizing and participating in the forum mocks, doing my own draft prep, and, oh yeah, my day job.  (I suspect no other mods noticed this either, as cdrob's involvement was a lot less of a gray area as far as the policy is concerned, and we'd be well within our rights to ban him without any warning.  We still have not, despite it being pretty clear from his posting history that he's not really interested in being active with the community, and is only here to promote his site.)

 

So yeah, we were a bit asleep at the switch on this one as the self-promotion got more frequent.  The point at which I noticed it again and decided it was becoming a bigger issue was on Tuesday night when I noticed that he had linked to his podcast appearance on Sunday night.  It was then that I scrolled back and saw cdrob's links, and at that point, it was clear that the hands-off approach wasn't going to work.

 

As for getting the facts right before making accusations...  The facts that are of primary importance here are that taobball and cdrob137 were both self-promoting in a thread that we would normally be obliged to delete and redirect into the Community Rankings forum, and it put us in a position where the violations of the rules were no longer things we could look past.  In my attempts to put the puzzle pieces together, I misunderstood the intended use of the google doc writeups and the requests for proofreading assistance, and I've already apologized for that.  But that doesn't happen if the members involved here adhered to the rules and didn't try to push the boundaries of what we were allowing, which, again, went way beyond what we could do if everyone was doing it.

 

I'm happy to clarify anything I've said here or answer any other questions -- just know that we deliberated for a while on this, reached out to @tao directly, and only posted publicly, with @tao's blessing.

 

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