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A WEBSITE FOR EXPATS, BY EXPATS

Hi,

Expat.com defines itself as "the online community for expats, by expats"

We received too many complains these last weeks about locals systematically hijacking treads, posting ads (which should be posted in the dedicated sections), advertisement ... and many active members became very frustrated.

We decided to temporarily block writing access to locals on the forums ; we are doing our best to find the best solution for everyone.

We may opt for an invitation system... (or something else)

Kind regards,

Julien

Beware of throwing the baby out with the bath water. Some locals [meo mun comes to mind] actually post useful info. You could unblock those who post useful info.

Its not just this site but all sites I use are flooded with locals pushing their products. Something needs to be done and this is a start.

You could unblock those who post useful info.

already done !

What prevents a 'local' from registering or signing in as an expat (under a 'Western'-written name - Mr. Nguyen from Hanoi becoming Mr. Guy from Hong Kong!) and then trying to peddle their stuff ? How will that be policed ? Just curious ... Possibly, allow them to comment, and if there is positive feedback from the expats or useful info, their comment stays posted. If they breach the Expat.com 'code', their posting gets zapped. Pretty much as it is now ...

The various teams ditch advertising posts as soon as they are seen but it's a hard job that requires many hours of work.
Spare a thought for us and our overworked mice.

Hi Sir,

Thanks for your reply and I hope you can find solution in future to accomodate locals looking for job/business oportunities within expats communities.

Thank you.

Miguel

Miguel Boa :

Hi Sir,

Thanks for your reply and I hope you can find solution in future to accomodate locals looking for job/business oportunities within expats communities.

Thank you.

Miguel

The Jobs, housing and classifieds sections at the top of this page provide a free of charge service where you can do just that.
It seems the issue is spamming the forums (and maybe the PM system) with adverts.

ralphnhatrang :

Beware of throwing the baby out with the bath water. Some locals [meo mun comes to mind] actually post useful info. You could unblock those who post useful info.

The Catch-22 is how can you know if their posts are useful if they can't post in the first place.  The current criteria suggested by Julian only makes allowance for those who have posted in the past.  Just the other day a brand new poster left a lot of good information.  I can't find it now but I recall that it was both a new poster and very informative.  I don't really think there is away around the dilemma aside from banning anyone who promotes real estate.

Thanks Julian for listening and trying to crack this nut. Not an easy task to be sure. I personally have no clue how to go about it. Like others have said how do you know you don't want to hear what they have to say until they have said it. Sure there is/could be a delay in the post appearing. But the mods , to someone would be swamped. I sure hope something can be done. You guys have a difficult job. Again thanks for the effort.

Just a suggestion. How about having a 'dislike' or 'flag' button where forum users can highlight an advert post? Admins can then filter out these posts with high numbers of dislike/ flag and remove them if applicable. I agree with one of the guy here that there are locals who are providing much useful information to the expat community here. So admins might want to consider giving them a warning first (in case they aren't even aware they are breaking the forum 'code') and block them subsequently if you've to.

HuiTing88 :

Just a suggestion. How about having a 'dislike' or 'flag' button where forum users can highlight an advert post? Admins can then filter out these posts with high numbers of dislike/ flag and remove them if applicable. I agree with one of the guy here that there are locals who are providing much useful information to the expat community here. So admins might want to consider giving them a warning first (in case they aren't even aware they are breaking the forum 'code') and block them subsequently if you've to.

There is a report tab on the upper right hand side of posts that does exactly that.

Since the function is in place, it would be good to make it more conspicuous and educate the users on what/ when to report a post.

I have found that the Report function in the upper right corner gets a quick response from moderators.  When you hit the link a box comes up for you to type in your justification.  I have frequently used it for posts by real estate agents by simply typing the word "advertisement" or even an abbreviated "advert."  These are usually fairly cut and dried violations of the code.  As far as my memory serves me, I have never reported anyone for being rude, obnoxious, or argumentative because those are the kind of posts that I enjoy reading.   :dumbom:   I may have criticized others for being off topic but did so in an open post.  I tend to go off topic myself so I am reluctant to criticize too much, except to suggest that a post might be better in another thread.   :offtopic:   This one is cool.

Julien :

Hi,

Expat.com defines itself as "the online community for expats, by expats"

We received too many complains these last weeks about locals systematically hijacking treads, posting ads (which should be posted in the dedicated sections), advertisement ... and many active members became very frustrated.

We decided to temporarily block writing access to locals on the forums ; we are doing our best to find the best solution for everyone.

We may opt for an invitation system... (or something else)

Kind regards,

Julien

When I travel to asian countries and I see these expat (...immigrant) enclaves (...ghettos) i usually scoff at their pretentious superiority complexes. Banning citizens of a country from contributing to what are mostly questions about living in their country... really?

If you hired a decent developer (like me), you could set up a keyword filter to pick up posts for moderator review.

It's easy... pick up words mentioning accommodation, private message, any telephone numbers and the words refugees or reeducation camp.

Then rather than completely remove a comment... simply flag it in say red as this has marked as spam.... and hide it. But still giving anyone who wants to read it a chance to reveal the whole message.

Maybe someone writes useful info but also puts in a link to their services and contact details....so it was like half useful info, half self promotion.

I have now subscribed to the Vietnam forum, this meaning I will get a notification for every post made here.
I'll try to keep an extra eye on this section and dump all ads the moment I see them.

Please also be aware I'm purely a volunteer here so I have to put work and family before the forum. Saying that, I generally leave it open when I'm working online so I see things pretty quickly.

@ Phikachu >

As Julien said, we have temporarily blocked the locals as we noticed that they are here only to offer their services. A lot of them do not have any expat projects but are only here to spam the forum. We received a lot of complaints and we needed to take actions.

I would like to thank you as well for your suggestion, do note that our IT team is doing a very good job. We already have an anti-spam system, which automatically blocks new users who are doing copy paste, posting links etc...
We will take your suggestion into account and we will see in the future if there are other ways to improve our system. :)

As a note, these new members still have access to all sections ( jobs, housing, classifieds, blogs, private message...etc), except the forum.

Thank you,

Priscilla
Expat.com team

Working for MI5, NSA or CIA?

As long as no one blocks Baz as his posts are just pure poetry

I have subscribed to this section so I see every post here.
All adverts are hidden the moment I see them, as several have been today.
Hope that helps you guys.

Locals with no prior post who make contact request should be removed.

very well said Priscilla,,,guys lets give them a room to put up the best action that serves the best interest for all members. I appreciate the entire teams' effort to solve this problem...

Yoda0807 :

Locals with no prior post who make contact request should be removed.

Any posts with contact details or links of any sort are removed or edited by the various teams as soon as they are seen.
Please use the report button to attract moderator attention to these posts.
The same goes if you feel there is suspicious activity of any sort from any poster.

Cripes, chaps.
I subscribed thinking I'd see a few ads but it's lots every day.
I see why there have been so many complaints but I keep dumping them for you.
Baz may now thank me.

Every forum I am on is the same, just riddled with adverts from the locals.

Local advice is often useful.
I don't think it's a good thing to stay in an expat Bubble !
Just delete spam and other unsuitable post maybe better.

Well thats exactly what was said.

I think mod up and mod down and when a certain threshold is met a post is hidden and then put in the queue for review.

colinoscapee :

Well thats exactly what was said.

And that's what's being done .... if we're getting it roughly right.
I rarely remove anything except for the stuff members complained about.

lol

For the newbies that are not aware of how hard Julian works to improve the site I would like to point ourt one great improvement. There was a time your mailbox would fill up with notices that someone had replied to a thread you subscribed to. It would get so annoying as there were a few folks on here that really have nothing to do or say, just stay on their computers all day and respond to every thread written. But Julian stepped in and now we are in control of whether we want to look at who responded and what they said. I for one applaud them and it was a great improvement. So it is not all bad!

Hi Diazo....I hate to intrude on your site, but I have written to you on your personal page and I have not received a reply. Did you get my messages please?     thanks.  Patrushka

Patrushka :

Hi Diazo....I hate to intrude on your site, but I have written to you on your personal page and I have not received a reply. Did you get my messages please?     thanks.  Patrushka

Diazo :

... now we are in control of whether we want to look at who responded and what they said

Diazo is in control  :cool:

Sometimes I check in on this site just to see what's posted. Maybe I can offer advice to someone. I don't sign in. I get these annoying pop-ups every minute or so which most definitely interfere with my ability to check out this site. I can easily imagine that if I was a potential member I'd just give up and go check out the latest sports scores or something. Can you increase the time interval that these annoying pop ups occur? It really interferes with my ability to check out this site.

Overall this is still an excellent sounding post irrespective of the annoyances

colinoscapee :

Every forum I am on is the same, just riddled with adverts from the locals.

That should have improved a lot now as there is a zero tolerance view of adverts, all being removed as soon as possible.

"All" is a lot if the ruddy things.

Comments welcome.

Julien :

We received too many complains these last weeks about locals systematically hijacking treads, posting ads

Some are sneaky little buggers.
Just nabbed one posing as  an American wanting to learn Vietnamese and her pal posing as someone who knows Americans using a given language school.

They treat potential customers as idiots so I suspect the rest of their attitude to customers is likely to be as bad.

So Fred now we have to hear an update on your policing activity? Maybe we are getting to full of ourselves. I doubt this adds much to the expat discussion exchange. maybe your efforts are better kept in the backgrounds. Just one persons opinion.

Go Fred! Nice to get reports of action being taken. A year or so ago the threads were full of adverts, trolls and chancers. Good to see it's changing!

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