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Forum: Food For Thought

What (besides the obvious) constitutes "abuse"?

First of all, I want to put it out there that I really, REALLY like this site, and I'm glad that I was introduced to it some 20 months ago. I appreciate that running it takes a lot of time and effort (you da man, John) and that "policing" it is an onerous but necessary job (props to the admins). That being said, I have a question about what constitutes "abuse". I understand that mooching without sending is a no-no ... photocopies are forbidden ... emailing a downloadable ebook in lieu of sending a book would be a violation ... etc. Basically, the obvious stuff can be dispensed with ... it's the stuff in the gray areas that confounds me.
I know of cases where a serious backlog of books to send has apparently resulted in discipline, where others who have or have had similar backlogs remain members in good standing. Not knowing the particulars of these cases, it would be pure conjecture to say that it was only due to the backlog, but here I am stymied by lack of information (a lack I can understand, but which still concerns me). What criteria are there to make such decisions.
Another point of consternation is what constitutes "abuse" in communications with fellow moochers. I get that profanity is out. I understand that untoward references to ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation and the like would be considered out of bounds. I guess I feel like it's similar to what someone said about the difference between pornography and art, saying something to the effect of "I can't define it, but I know it when I see it!" It's just this kind of gray area that worries me, because I can envision a time where I might make an offhand joke that, while not breaching any taboo overtly, might rub someone the wrong way. If that person were then to complain to admin that my comment were offensive to them (despite being deemed innocuous or even mildly humorous by others), would I then be approached by "Big Brother"? How many complaints would there have to be to warrant action? Could one disgruntled soul call down the wrath of Bookmooch or would there have to be some sort of consensus? Bookmooch is something of a paragon of transparency as far as the bare bones of transactions go, but when it comes to disciplining members, there is silence...a measure I understand, but that worries me nonetheless.
Well, I've well overshot the mark on how long I had wanted this post to be, so now I'll leave it those of you who might care to comment...let me know your thoughts.

Rebel Sun
3 years ago


Well, that was interesting. Did you remove this message from the Discussion forum or did it just vanish? I've had a few messages vanish;) You should wander over to Librarything and check out the discussion there. At any rate, all I would say here is that in our work on the Inactives Project we have turned up quite a few "Temporarily on Hold" accounts that have been inactive for many, many months. I think what might be helpful is some kind of automatic reminder to administration that these account issues need to be resolved in a timely fashion. Communicating with the account holder would seem a logical first step.
3 years ago
The post vanished from the other is unknown to me. I agree that communication is key, but when communication breaks down or is the problem itself, who decides what is to be done? Is there any oversight mechanism to "police the police"?
Rebel Sun
3 years ago
Apparently the reference I made to a specific member's case was a red flag and as such the post on the Bookmooch Discussion forum was removed...I completely understand. Accordingly, I have amended the post to make a general commentary and hopefully assuage the powers that be.
Rebel Sun
3 years ago

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