In the sense of questioning and even challenging what is said and done here, this forum is primarily self moderating. In the sense of posting links or practices that are against the TOS, the moderators take care of that. This allows for a free exchange of information and ideas ... and there have been many over the years. I myself have had links removed that led to specific information at other mattress rating sites or industry magazine articles that accept advertising because I didn't realize at the time that they were in the "forbidden zone". I have no problem with this. I have also been challenged at various times and I love it. It encourages me to do the research that helps differentiate opinion from fact.
Part of the value of this forum is that when people appear to abuse it's purpose ... they are questioned and challenged and the members here don't need to wait for a moderator to do so. There are many here who are just as grateful as I am that a no BS forum like this exists where there is enough factual information and enough high quality members without an agenda that it really is possible to get beyond the smokescreens, misinformation, and shady practices that are out there. They are also generally "annoyed" when someone tries to use the forum to promote an agenda or push ideas that contribute to the very problems that most of us here are trying to solve.
You don't have to like or agree with what is being said ... but the norm is that the people who have the greatest problems with what is said here are the people who rely on misperception, innuendo, and misinformation to make a living in the mattress world. Accurate information is a threat to them and you will often see them come here to "challenge" the person that presents it ... usually using the same type of innuendo that you are using in this post.
Specifically to your points:
However, I think moderators should be the ones to ascertain who spammers/fakes are versus another user such as yourself.
I don't believe this for a second. If someone comes here and does what you did ... intentionally or otherwise ... I hope the members will challenge their agenda ... and they often do. The "certain people" who won't post here anymore are usually more interested in promoting than they are in learning anyway.
Your reference to an IP check telling anything about who you are or what you do for a living is a really strange argument.
Of course you would have valid points to post here ... and I hope you do. There has been no attempt to stop you to my knowledge. But I would also hope that if you post in ways that indicate you may have an agenda (which you did), and if your points seem to defend those who are providing you with misinformation more than they seek the truth (which they do), and if you take "personal offence" at a reasonable challenge (which you did), and if you promote a specific place of business or mattress completely out of context in many threads (which you did) ... then I would hope that all of this would be questioned and challenged (which it was). If you go back to 4 of your first 5 posts and read them honestly as I asked you to ... you will realize that they sound like scripted ads more than anything else. They are still there to confirm this.
You say "Should I be allowed to be happy with my mattress? YOU BET." as if anyone was saying anything about your happiness with your mattress. This is called a "red herring" Does your happiness make it OK to post links out of context to the threads that they were posted in and backed with incorrect information without being questioned ..... I would say no.
Should you be allowed to be thrilled with your local mattress retailer ... of course. That's why people start new threads with specific examples about why they are thrilled. They usually include comparative information about their search and results. Again, 4 of your first 5 posts in this forum were more like blatant advertising than they were about why you were happy with your mattress or retailer.
You say "Do I find this type of required validation to you (another user with a lot of push to your vendors), versus admins or moderators? NOT SO MUCH!" Of course not ... but expect to be asked some pointed quesions when what you post warrants it. This is the nature of the forum and part of its value.
And repeating your previous "accusations" about "another user with a lot of push to your vendors" is simply more innuendo.
And now you say that these legitimate and pointed questions and information may "cause you to leave" because you have been "mistreated". I would think that the only people who would leave for this reason in the face of our conversation would be those looking for an "escape route".
You also say "I am suspect as to whether this is a legit site that allows consumers to speak of their personal experiences or is it a 'cloaked marketing gimmick' to push consumers to buy products from XYZ resources instead of truly offering unbiased education and help." This forum and its predecessor has a history going back over 10 years. I think it's "independence" and value and the almost overwhelming amount of quality information it contains is self evident to anyone who takes even the smallest peek. I would think that in the face of such overwhelming evidence that only those who have a specific reason to believe otherwise or have others believe otherwise would say something so "strange" and obviously incorrect.
All in all ... I continue to believe that the weight of ongoing evidence and your unwillingness to deal with specifics shows me that there is more to why you came here than you are willing to acknowledge. I realize this can never be proven and I also realize that I may be completely out to lunch and wrong but I would rather tell you straight up that I don't believe you than beat around the bush.
This message was modified Dec 2, 2010 by Phoenix