"Degree Mills" Argument Dump Thread

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Discussions' started by Johnny Aloha, May 3, 2012.

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  1. Johnny Aloha

    Johnny Aloha New Member

    I'm new and trying to understand our TOS.

    On Apr 27, '12, Kizmet wrote in response to new member Rachel Scott's attempt to solicit business:

    "Hi Rachel - Do you have a sister named Bonnie. I know a woman named Bonnie Scott and I'd love it if you were related.

    There's another issue though. You post sounds an awful lot like you're using our forum to advertise a professional service. Since I'm sure that you carefully read our terms of service you'll recognize that we do not allow advertising on this board. This board is for the purpose of discussing distance learning, not promoting your business. It would be a shame if I had to tell Bonnie that I shot you between the eyes (virtually speaking). Smell you later!"

    How is what John doing different than Rachel?

    Thanks!
     
  2. Ted Heiks

    Ted Heiks Moderator and Distinguished Senior Member Staff Member

    Dr. Bear is a very distinguished senior member of this board.
     
  3. Jonathan Whatley

    Jonathan Whatley Well-Known Member

    Also, announcement of a new edition of a credible book, from a well-known publisher, about degree mills, would be notable from any source. If Rachel had written such a book, more power to her to announce it and how it could be gotten, I'd think, and I'm fairly sure the moderators would agree.
     
  4. NMTTD

    NMTTD Member

    So its only the new members that have to follow the TOS? As long as its a senior member or a "distinguished" (famous) member then they dont have to adhere to the same rules as the rest of us? Just checking so I can be clear on what is and is not allowed.
     
  5. Jonathan Whatley

    Jonathan Whatley Well-Known Member

    I think that if any recognized member of this forum, or a credible newcomer, had an announcement of a distance-education-related book that seemed consistent with the intentions of the board, such announcement would be welcome, even if it included details about how to get the thing.

    (I don't speak for the administration in any way. I'm only speaking, if pretty confidently, from having been around.)
     
  6. Ted Heiks

    Ted Heiks Moderator and Distinguished Senior Member Staff Member

    A post announcing a new edition of one of Dr. Bear's books is welcomed because the subject of the book is relevant to distance learning, which is the subject of this board.
     
  7. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    I agree Dr. Bear's book's new edition is news. But if I decided to become a coach (I'm not) and offer my services to doctoral candidates (I'm not), would I be allowed to announce it here? Wouldn't that be news? And seeing that I'm one of the most prolific posters (second or so, IIRC, despite taking about a year off) and have a Ph.D. specializing in the field on which this board is focused, wouldn't that make me a distinguished member? A distinguished member announcing relevant news? Just askin'.

    For what it's worth, I thought John's post was just fine. And so would the one I hypothesized. Perhaps not a routine use of the board for that, but a one-off? That should be okay. (Oh, and continuing to put into my sig line should be okay too, right?)
     
  8. Johnny Aloha

    Johnny Aloha New Member

    Dear Ted: I completely agree that John is distinguished and has provided a tremendous service to the DL community. Would you at least acknowledge that based on the current rules of this fourm, he ran afoul? I worked in HR for about 25 years. If you are going to have a policy that pertains to everyone, then don't you believe it should be uniformly enforced? If you wish to stratify the members of the forum and give them privileges according to seniority, highest degree earned, etc, I would have no problem with that whatsoever. However, the policy would need to be revised.

    Mahalo!
     
  9. Johnny Aloha

    Johnny Aloha New Member

    Dear Jonathan: Your tenure on this forum, and the respect due, is given. Rich said the following: "I agree Dr. Bear's book's new edition is news. But if I decided to become a coach (I'm not) and offer my services to doctoral candidates (I'm not), would I be allowed to announce it here? Wouldn't that be news? And seeing that I'm one of the most prolific posters (second or so, IIRC, despite taking about a year off) and have a Ph.D. specializing in the field on which this board is focused, wouldn't that make me a distinguished member? A distinguished member announcing relevant news? Just askin'.

    For what it's worth, I thought John's post was just fine. And so would the one I hypothesized. Perhaps not a routine use of the board for that, but a one-off? That should be okay. (Oh, and continuing to put into my sig line should be okay too, right?)"

    Out of curiosity, how would you respond to this? Or other folks that could make a nexus to DL? For example, a financial expert that could help you figure out ways to fund your education, an APA guru to help proof your dis., etc.

    Mahalo!
     
  10. Anthony Pina

    Anthony Pina Active Member

    Over the past few years, several of us have asked Dr. Bear to let us know when new editions of "Degree Mills" and "Bears' Guide" are available. I appreciate his response to our request.
     
  11. Bill Huffman

    Bill Huffman Well-Known Member

    My perspective is that it would be fine.

    Regarding this issue in general, this is an internet forum, a community, I'm part of that community. Rachel was not part of this community. A stranger coming in and spamming the community is totally different, in my view, from a member of this community wanting to talk about his/her dog that just died or some new project that they're starting. I'm more than willing to cut a member of the community a lot of slack in what they post. I'm much less willing to want strangers coming in here and spamming. Those of you that remember the news group A.E.D. spammer/trolls are what destroyed A.E.D. and forced everyone here.
     
  12. SurfDoctor

    SurfDoctor Moderator Staff Member

    You pose a logical and honest question and I respect your insight. Here are some thoughts: Dr. Bear is one of the founding members of this board and much of what has happened in the past 11 years is based on his research. He does get a little rule bending because he is not some new member trying to peddle books. His book is the bible of this website, so when he publishes a new edition, it is met here with welcome. Our TOS does not apply to Bear's Guide because it is an integral part of Degree Info.

    Someone else using our board to sell something is a different story altogether and it will not be tolerated. It may not seem perfectly fair, and I suppose it is not, but when you publish a work that is the basis of an entire community of learners, you may get some slack too.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2012
  13. JBjunior

    JBjunior Active Member

    Nothing needs to be revised. The moderators were posting in the thread already, obviously aware of it and the TOS, and had no issue with it..... move on.
     
  14. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    Of course, we're not talking about Bear's (or Bears', depending on the edition) guide, are we?

    Again, I'm cool with it. But it's fun to watch the mods twist things to fit their desired outcome. It would be easier to accept the exception.
     
  15. SurfDoctor

    SurfDoctor Moderator Staff Member

    Your statement is offensive. We are not twisting things to fit any desired outcome and I do not appreciate you stating that we are. As Dr. Pina stated, we have asked Dr. Bear to let us know when his works are available and we welcome the announcement. His book on degree mills is a logical extension of his guide.
     
  16. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    Yes, you are. But it's for a good cause.
     
  17. NMTTD

    NMTTD Member

    I think what he means is that nowhere in the TOS does it say that the rules only apply to those not deemed "distinguished" or that the moderators can choose to disregard the TOS for select members if and when they choose. It is to be assumed that the TOS apply to ALL of the members here, not just certain ones. And since there is nothing in the TOS that tells anyone how to become a "distinguished" member, it can appear to give the impression that the moderators can choose to overlook the rules when they see fit.
     
  18. SurfDoctor

    SurfDoctor Moderator Staff Member

    I suppose you mean that we are twisting the rules for Dr. Bear and you are right, if that's what you mean, no offense taken. But we choose to do it because his information is integral to Degree Info, so he does get special treatment. That's what I said in the beginning. If he were trying to sell paper writing services or Nike knockoffs, he would be censured the same as anyone else.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2012
  19. SurfDoctor

    SurfDoctor Moderator Staff Member

    It's not because he is distinguished, and it's not fair, but that's the way it is. Degree Info was founded, in part, on his information and he gets a special pass. I'm sorry if this offends you.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2012
  20. NMTTD

    NMTTD Member

    Doesnt offend me. I really dont care. I was simply interpreting what I figured he meant by all of his posts.
     
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