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Denied Support
#1
I'm finally going to make a public post about my view over the support denial policy regarding webmasters who may manage MyBB forums that violate their current policy regarding content.

First off, this is the actual policy:
https://mybb.com/support/eligibility-policy/

Quote:For ethical and legal reasons the MyBB Group also chooses not to provide support to websites containing any of the following:
    Hacking (includes "leaks")
    Pornography
    Illegal file distribution or piracy
    Illegal use of electronic assets, including but not limited to violation of theme licensing (e.g. removing author name from footer)
    Any other forms of illegal activity
    Racist or hateful content
    Discussions that encourage, promote or demonstrate methods of producing, consuming, using, cultivating, buying, selling, distributing or supplying drugs that could reasonably be considered illegal

First off, MyBB has zero legal risk providing product support to any person using their software.  It's not required that someone needing support provides a site URL.  It should not matter what the URL is and support should be based solely on default MyBB questions and nothing related to plugins or custom alterations.  MyBB has a product and it's taken a stance on who it supports but not because of legal reasons.  It's to them an ethical choice and I don't like they are saying it's for legal reasons.

Next, how does MyBB know if a person asking for support actually runs a site like this?  It's unfair that someone new might get support for x.com but then also run y.com which is in violation.  And why would someone be denied support for x.com if it's within the policy?  

My account is marked that I am denied support yet I run a half-dozen MyBB installs and only one of them violates support policy. That's extremely unfair.

I also am offended by the scarlet letter placed on ever single one of my posts even if it's in a section unrelated to support. That's offensive and why for many years I've stayed clear of this site.  

MyBB should have no concern over what sites are being asked for support.  You should focus on support. If you want rules about linking to sites which might cause problems for search engines or even young audience viewers then that's appropriate.  But MyBB doesn't do that. Instead the team has taken it a step further by basically telling a portion of their base that they are not wanted and will not get support.  This just makes us want to move to another product.  It also means we're less inclined to report bugs and offer others assistance. It discourages participation and if anyone has watched MyBB project over the past 5 years you'd see a drop in participation and I think this policy is a part of that.

Quote:Users known to operate a website which contains any of the above will be noted by staff and they will be denied support in all future instances, regardless of whether the support is intended for another acceptable site operated by the user. This is because otherwise MyBB staff can not be certain if their support is benefiting an acceptable site or one that is not.

Just terrible policy there.   If I'm going to ask about a MyBB bug and report it then what does it matter what URL I run it at?  

Quote:Discussions that encourage, promote or demonstrate methods of producing, consuming, using, cultivating, buying, selling, distributing or supplying drugs that could reasonably be considered illegal

DUMB DUMB DUMB...Marijuana is now legal in multiple states. How does MyBB differentiate that?

MyBB's attempt at adding ethics to their policy imho is a complete failure and needs to be removed.  

I've kept my mouth shut about this dumb move for years.  I recently upgraded to MyBB 1.8x and well, it's been a nightmare and not only would support be helpful but I have dozens of bugs I could report but I'm always loathe to be involved here due to the policies in place.  I don't know if I'm welcomed here or not.  At this point I have nothing to lose.  Either MyBB does something or I just logout and it's done.  That's not any threat, it's just my choices.

I'm very uncomfortable participating here.  Is that the intent of the policy?  To push away webmasters using your software because you don't like their content?

Is MyBB open to reversing or altering this policy?
#2
We've had some discussions on this topic in the near recent past, see here: https://community.mybb.com/thread-208916.html

The policy isn't specifically there to push away webmasters, but I can understand why people may feel that way - especially with the way it's presented as it stands.

One of the main reasons that I see for the denied support marker is that people often confuse MyBB ("the product") as a forum host or some kind of controlling itnerest in sites running the software. Ove the last week, I have received 9 emails asking us to remove a sie from the internet that was using MyBB (and had the MyBB copyright in the future). We also received a couple of messages on Twitter about a board that recently moved to MyBB and that contains some rather questionable material. Now, you and I know that MyBB has no control over these sites, but others don't always see that. The support eligibility policy seems to have been though up as some way to try and distance ourselves from sites using the software for content that may be considered questionable in some jurisdictions (you mentioned Marijuana as an explicit example in your post - here in the UK it is still very much an illegal narcotic as of the time of writing, and is the same in several other countries where team members reside), though obviously it isn't working particularly well in that role.

I think we're definitely open to discussion about the role of the support eligibiltiy policy and its implementation, but I can't speak for the rest of the team or the project.
#3
Most forum products have the same policy not just only MyBB, hacking/leaks/sharing other peoples information for example credit cards etc it is illegal! Leakforums removed leaks apparently the owner had some legal issues that's exactly what happens when you run a community like that, for you maybe you haven't had any problems for years but you wouldn't know.

I respect the policy they have also I believe it's fair, for some people it might suck due to they won't receive any support. But then I guess your right when someone asks for support how would you know if their forum is like yours well the only way you would know if they're bothered sharing the link of their site. Also even if you decide to move to another product it will be the same thing. As far as I know Xenforo & IPS have the same policy lol.
Do NOT PM me for support unless I ask you on your support thread.
#4
(11-11-2017, 10:15 PM)labrocca Wrote: I'm very uncomfortable participating here.  

You're not the only one. There's a definite double standard wrt to implementation / enforcement of the support policy. I notice some people who were previously labelled support denied now have the badge removed. So much for policy. Spammers and people who infringe copyright can promote themselves on this forum. Think anybody with half a brain will contribute or publish any work on a forum like this ?

What goes around comes around



#5
(11-11-2017, 11:22 PM)Euan T Wrote: One of the main reasons that I see for the denied support marker is that people often confuse MyBB ("the product") as a forum host or some kind of controlling itnerest in sites running the software.

So because random people on the internet get confused Mybb has to deny it's users support? That makes no sense.

If some idiot tries to sue Mybb because someone else is running a hack/leak forum does the "denied support badge" legally help? I don't think so.

I don't like the hacking/leak forums either, but I think this move is hurting Mybb more then helping. If you provide people like the OP support we will get more participation, reports, and fixes resulting in a better product for all.
#6
I am with labrocca, on this i know he was a good member of this community in the past i do not care what sites he runs that is for him and the hosting services i can see no valid reason to label someone and ostracize them based on this.

i do feel this has turned many good community members away and has cost us a lot of good plugins and features as well as support

i have felt this a flaw for a while now i do support this labeling if a person comes on this site and is vocally aggressive or posts things that do violate things directly on the site such as stealing others work etc. or attacks other members
Coming soon......
#7
(11-11-2017, 10:15 PM)labrocca Wrote: MyBB's attempt at adding ethics to their policy imho is a complete failure and needs to be removed.

I totally agree. I have never concerned myself in the least as to whether an admin that is asking for help is running a religious website or a porn ring because I don't care.

I don't think MyBB should concern itself with the ethics of those using free software.
#8
The case was discussed months ago, however it wasn't acted upon yet - if the policy stays the denial notice might be altered to display the reason in selected places (support forums, R/S/J, PMs, profiles) publicly.

If we agreed to alter the SEP, my suggestion was to copy definitions of all universally illegal content (leaks, piracy, child pornography, hateful content) to global rules (possibly as extension to the Code of Conduct) and strip the remaining ones from the SEP to cut down on burden that's potentially unnecessary (it would still provide information on forums that encourage clearly unethical activities). The main function of the SEP notice would then be to inform about removed powered by messages to encourage support for the Project (which IMO should be relaxed to only require a link on index or About pages - if we decide to keep it).

(11-11-2017, 11:54 PM)Ashley1 Wrote: I notice some people who were previously labelled support denied now have the badge removed. So much for policy.

The status is meant to reflect current situation - denials are not necessarily permanent.
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#9
Might I suggest something that maybe helpful in the case of sites that might be questionable.

Maybe it should be made so the domain needing support is hidden from non MyBB support members? This will keep questionable links from being publicly displayed. I'm sure this can be done using a plugin.

Also I think "This user has been denied support" should only be displayed to MyBB staff. I never really thought it was needed for everyone to see, but that's just my option.

labrocca has one of the largest and active MyBB forums out there and it's going to show bugs that might have otherwise gone unnoticed on small forums. The software would benefit from him reporting bugs.

As far as reports being made about sites using the software, a standard message should be given that MyBB has no control over the content of a site.
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#10
Firstly, I would endorse the removal of "legal" from the Support Eligibility Policy. The team have a point when they say they deny support for ethical reasons; I don't feel that they should be subjected to support such websites. But stating that it's for legal reasons is a cop-out at it's finest if I've ever seen it.

With that said, they are still users of the software and are therefore still likely to come across bugs; I don't feel that the Support Eligibility Policy should outright ban these people from posting; bug reports make the software better.

Secondly, I agree with Devilshakerz in changing the Support Eligibility Policy to move toward the CoC having what's not permitted as defined by universally acknowkledged content. This would be standard for any project, not just here.
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