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no promos please ? - question to mods

Travel Forums System Talk no promos please ? - question to mods

1. Posted by t_maia (Travel Guru 3289 posts) 10y

Hello dear travel gurus and allmighty powers running travellerspoint,

I would like to know more about the "no promos in the forum" rule and the way links to sites are treated.

If somebody asks in the forum "What can I do in city XY?" and I've been there and know that it was nice to do this or that, can I put a link to a website where you can book tickets for that activity? Or is this a promo?

What about recommending specific restaurants (or businesses in general) and setting links to their websites because they have a description on how to get there on the site? Is it better to just copy and paste the urls in these cases?

Who decides what a promo is and on what rules?

I'm asking because I think that some of my replies got lost because they had links - I cannot be sure, though. But if you remove posts because they are links-heavy and/or could be potential self-promotions, I would like to know.

2. Posted by Hien (Moderator 3906 posts) 10y

Hi Maria,

If somebody asks in the forum "What can I do in city XY?" and I've been there and know that it was nice to do this or that, can I put a link to a website where you can book tickets for that activity? Or is this a promo?

What about recommending specific restaurants (or businesses in general) and setting links to their websites because they have a description on how to get there on the site? Is it better to just copy and paste the urls in these cases?

For this case, if it were you who posted the links, they would most probably be allowed.

Who decides what a promo is and on what rules?

Who? They are the two overlords and the four janitors.

Basically, we look at under what circumstances the link is posted and also the status of that member. For example, if a newly joined member starts a thread with a link recommending you to something, that's obviously promotional and will be deleted. If the member is new and replied to a post and in the reply contains a link, we will see how the thread develops, the content of the post, what kind of site the link leads to, and whether the same member have posted the same link in any other threads at the same time. This normally reveals if it's a genuine help or just plain promotional. As for members who have been here long enough (full member and above), we usually take it that whatever that they're trying to help there is genuine and they do not have any promotional intentions to their own advantage.

BTW, this is not the absolute rule on how to determine what is promo and what is not, it is just basic guidelines that we moderators and admins use. All posts that are flagged as spam by travel gurus and respected members will still be reviewed on a case by case basis.

I'm asking because I think that some of my replies got lost because they had links - I cannot be sure, though. But if you remove posts because they are links-heavy and/or could be potential self-promotions, I would like to know.

Do you still remember which posts of yours had the links removed? Let me know and I'll look into it and try tell you why it's removed. (It would be easier for me to explain if it's removed by me, as it is up to the discretion of the moderators or admins to remove the link, or to delete the post, or to leave it.

3. Posted by Sander (Moderator 4808 posts) 10y

It's very rare for a complete post to be deleted - this pretty much only happens if the entire post is nothing but blatant advertising. Mostly what happens when a post if reported as being "promotional" is that as soon as a moderator sees it, the link is snipped from the post, and the rest of it shows up again.
As for reporting posts and snipping links, this generally speaking happens if it's believed that the poster might in some way benefit from the link. Links in replies to specific questions are generally treated more leniently than links in newly started threads, or in replies that are only vaguely related to the topic at hand. A link to the official website of a major tourist attraction will almost always be okay, while a link to a small restaurant that no one's ever heard of before might be in the grey zone (as you could be the owner). For a first time poster, such a link would probably be deleted, while a full member (who's never before posted about that restaurant, and has given plenty of helpful advice on other topics) would easily get away with it.

No really hard rules there - just... act in good faith. :)

4. Posted by t_maia (Travel Guru 3289 posts) 10y

Do you still remember which posts of yours had the links removed?

There are no posts of mine with removed links, I just had the general feeling that due to a bug in the system a few of my posts might have been deleted accidentally. I wanted to know whether this could have been deliberate because I posted links to other sites, some with clear business purpose.

It's very rare for a complete post to be deleted - this pretty much only happens if the entire post is nothing but blatant advertising. Mostly what happens ...

Thanks to both of you, that was the answer I needed. :)

5. Posted by Hien (Moderator 3906 posts) 10y

Quoting t_maia

Do you still remember which posts of yours had the links removed?

There are no posts of mine with removed links, I just had the general feeling that due to a bug in the system a few of my posts might have been deleted accidentally. I wanted to know whether this could have been deliberate because I posted links to other sites, some with clear business purpose.

As far as I know, there is no bug in the system that could have caused the accidental deletion of your posts. Deletions have always been done manually by the admins and moderators.

6. Posted by Peter (Admin 5789 posts) 10y

Yeah, I'll just confirm what Sander and Hien have said. It is pretty much up to the discretion of admin and moderators what classifies as a promo. Your other activity on the site is taken into account and the context in which it is posted as well. A link in response to a question is usually ok, though not when someone just goes around posting the same link in answer to multiple questions. When someone signs off all their posts with a link to their site, this is also considered promotional.

I pretty much always let the poster know when I've deleted/edited one of their entries.

I can't see why any of your posts would have gone missing. Does your post count seem lower than you think it should be? You'll have to give us specific examples to check this for you.