Current Page: 1 of 2
Author
Message
Harold
Posts:2494
Senior member
Member since: 2006-11-30
:: Quote ::
Subject: Troll on Amazon Associate Boards
As some of you know, and a few of you have experienced, Amazon has a long-standing troll on the discussion boards for their Associates.

A particularly bad spell is going on right now. This person creates alias after alias to insult or threaten people, and after Amazon deletes the posts and kills and alias, he goes on and creates another.

They don't seem to be able to keep him off the boards. I'm thinking, as with the recent problems on the main Amazon that were quickly settled when Amazon got bad publicity, that they need to hear about this in the media, or at least the Internet media.

Any ideas? People I could contact? I like hanging out here and feel I have people I can talk to about Amazon issues, but newbies are constantly showing up on those boards, only to be misled or abused by the troll.
June 25, 2009 04:12AM
AnonymousReader26
Posts:12
New member
Member since: 2008-12-21
:: Quote ::
Subject: Re: Troll on Amazon Associate Boards
I wonder if this is a problem on other Amazon boards? No one knows (or seems to care) what an affiliate is, but if trolls have been rampaging for years on customers' boards, that might attract some interest from bloggers or media.

It reflects SO poorly on Amazon. I keep wondering if anyone is really in charge of the Associates' program. I doubt Jeff Bezos knows that board exists, but he should.
June 25, 2009 05:17AM
Pengi
Posts:3345
Senior member
Member since: 2006-12-17
:: Quote ::
Subject: Re: Troll on Amazon Associate Boards
Maybe they could try setting up a system with limited access for "newbies" until they have been deemed suitable. winking smiley
June 25, 2009 08:43AM
Ian C. Purdie
Posts:2220
Senior member
Member since: 2008-12-12
:: Quote ::
Subject: Re: Troll on Amazon Associate Boards
Quote:
Maybe they could try setting up a system with limited access for "newbies" until they have been deemed suitable
If only.

Harold is right, the only real response is to get the media interested.

"Amazon can't control a simple discussion forum"
June 25, 2009 10:27AM
Troi
Posts:4431
Senior member
Member since: 2006-11-30
:: Quote ::
Subject: Re: Troll on Amazon Associate Boards
Maybe they should get members to use their amazon login to enter the forum - then zap their account if persistence occurs.
June 25, 2009 11:05AM
Ian C. Purdie
Posts:2220
Senior member
Member since: 2008-12-12
:: Quote ::
Subject: Re: Troll on Amazon Associate Boards
Troi that would be too logical.
June 25, 2009 11:25AM
Harold
Posts:2494
Senior member
Member since: 2006-11-30
:: Quote ::
Subject: Re: Troll on Amazon Associate Boards
A large part of the problem seems to be with the discussion board system they use--as you all have suggested, there should be simple ways to limit access or deal with problem members, but those powers do not seem to exist within the software they are using.... Or they just aren't using them.
June 25, 2009 05:48PM
Ian C. Purdie
Posts:2220
Senior member
Member since: 2008-12-12
:: Quote ::
Subject: Re: Troll on Amazon Associate Boards
Yes, it's got me beat. In the back of my mind he went off the rails for the first time about seven years ago.

Amazon did absolutely nothing so I contacted a fellow at Prospero [can't do that now] and he was horrified.

At that time Prospero were responsible for the board and took a great pride in some claim about a "trouble free" system.

Since back then I think Amazon have bought the software rather than use the entire Prospero resources. It's still hosted at Prospero but I think there may be a good technical reason for that.

My best guess is that people have come and gone over the years and now some poor hapless soul has a manual with a page about deleting posts ear marked and highlighted - nothing else.

Just a wild guess but I'd put money down no one at Amazon really know how it works and the higher ups couldn't care less.
June 26, 2009 08:01AM
Ian C. Purdie
Posts:2220
Senior member
Member since: 2008-12-12
:: Quote ::
Subject: Re: Troll on Amazon Associate Boards
Going back to your original point Harold, this is what my friend had to say [re a journalist]

Quote:
You're right. Amazon should pull the plug on this guy.
Only, if they did, he'd just join under another name.

Unfortunately, I don't know any investigative journalists.
Really wish I did. There have been a few times I could
have used one.

However, you could join this list - [helpareporter.com]

and make a post looking for someone to cover a story about Amazon.com
[helpareporter.com]

Before you do, receive his e-mails for a couple of days
and get familiar with what Peter will and will not put up
with in his newsletter
June 26, 2009 08:11AM
Harold
Posts:2494
Senior member
Member since: 2006-11-30
:: Quote ::
Subject: Re: Troll on Amazon Associate Boards
Interesting.

I'm actually getting close to saying "f*ck it" and leaving Amazon to stew--no more reporting of his crap, no more helping the newbies. Just checking in from time to time to see if I've missed anything.
June 27, 2009 04:02AM
Ian C. Purdie
Posts:2220
Senior member
Member since: 2008-12-12
:: Quote ::
Subject: Re: Troll on Amazon Associate Boards
Then "he's won". He then dominates the board and the new kids are left to slaughter.

I couldn't do that. Yes I know how you feel.

I can't understand why Amazon are so inept. Were they located in Australia I'd have politically shamed them long ago.
June 27, 2009 08:50AM
Harold
Posts:2494
Senior member
Member since: 2006-11-30
:: Quote ::
Subject: Re: Troll on Amazon Associate Boards
"He then dominates the board and the new kids are left to slaughter. "

I know. That's exactly why I've stuck to it.
June 27, 2009 09:14PM
Ian C. Purdie
Posts:2220
Senior member
Member since: 2008-12-12
:: Quote ::
Subject: Re: Troll on Amazon Associate Boards
I was surfing around today searching various "forum phrases" for my own mob.

I stumbled across Delphi, owned by Prospero and 'lo and behold' my RoboForm jumped up with my original and still existing Amazon Forum registration code. Seems I joined 2/1/2002! Sorry Wes, you're wrong.

Anyway I set up a forum for my people to mainly post schematic diagrams and relevant photos. All for FREE.

BUT - the killer? Certainly this must apply to Amazon:

Quote:
"Tools to deal with troublemakers including word filters, the ability to gag troublesome users or ban them altogether".
July 07, 2009 08:02AM
Ian C. Purdie
Posts:2220
Senior member
Member since: 2008-12-12
:: Quote ::
Subject: Re: Troll on Amazon Associate Boards
One other major difference between the Amazon Forum and my "junior, cut down" version is the "Options" panel where you can put people on ignore.

Mine has the exact same options but with two extra ones Amazon obviously choose not to use.

* Report Violation
* Set Priveleges

I'll look into the last one later. The look and feel is almost identical but with a different colour scheme.
July 08, 2009 01:14AM
Ian C. Purdie
Posts:2220
Senior member
Member since: 2008-12-12
:: Quote ::
Subject: Re: Troll on Amazon Associate Boards
Forgot, if anyone wants to see it:

[forums.delphiforums.com]
July 08, 2009 01:18AM
AnonymousReader26
Posts:12
New member
Member since: 2008-12-21
:: Quote ::
Subject: Re: Troll on Amazon Associate Boards
I wonder what's finally gotten their attention -- did they actually appoint a moderator? I complained to Amazon right before the crackdown started, so maybe a lot of people did the same at that time. Probably too much to hope this sudden burst of attention will continue.
July 13, 2009 06:56PM
Harold
Posts:2494
Senior member
Member since: 2006-11-30
:: Quote ::
Subject: Re: Troll on Amazon Associate Boards
I was letting them know all through last week that our troll was repeatedly creating new aliases and reposting the messages they had deleted. I doubt that it was my messages to them, but just them noticing what was going on--I had the sense earlier that they hadn't connected the dots that one person was behind most of the cr@p.

Got a message on Saturday in response to a complaint that they were monitoring all messages, and we've had four good days... Hope it lasts.
July 13, 2009 10:17PM
DamonHD
Posts:6158
Moderator
Member since: 2006-11-30
:: Quote ::
Subject: Re: Troll on Amazon Associate Boards
Yes, let's hope so.

Rgds

Damon
July 13, 2009 10:32PM
Ian C. Purdie
Posts:2220
Senior member
Member since: 2008-12-12
:: Quote ::
Subject: Re: Troll on Amazon Associate Boards
I definitely think it's many people complaining. One or two of us would be largely be ignored as crack pots.

Curiously, the only feed back they "never" responded to was the link to the Delphi Manual [above] I gave them. Not even the usual thank you.

This could all be coincidence of course but I have to agree they are more aggressive than ever before.

One thing I am absolutely sure of, he has a sophisticated set up, specifically designed to cause trouble over there. He does have some good hacking skills.

Several things have caused me to wonder about him over many years.

a) I've never seen any evidence of him anywhere else on the internet, other boards etc. Many possible and obvious reasons for that.

b) Never in the 7+ years I've known him except, in very early days, has he discussed or mentioned Amazon income. I honestly believe he has none.

c) Has he had his account closed many years ago, with serious legal action? Hence his almost rabid hatred of all things Amazon?

I could expand upon that somewhat, but it would just be idle speculation. The lines along which I'm thinking is that opening new accounts would be of no use to him at all.
July 13, 2009 10:59PM
AnonymousReader26
Posts:12
New member
Member since: 2008-12-21
:: Quote ::
Subject: Re: Troll on Amazon Associate Boards
I doubt he's earning money through Associates. He doesn't seem to have any fear that his account will be terminated. But someone is doing a good job monitoring the board right now. Ian, maybe someone at Amazon did look at that link you sent and figure out how the forum works. Finally!
July 14, 2009 04:05AM
Ian C. Purdie
Posts:2220
Senior member
Member since: 2008-12-12
:: Quote ::
Subject: Re: Troll on Amazon Associate Boards
Remember when he "died" all those years ago?

Wasn't that around the same time of great discussions about "scumware" stealing affiliate links, which Amazon finally acted upon? They actually listened back in those days.

I don't know but something is fishy.

As silly as it sounds, apparently you don't seem to need to have an associate account to register for the forum.

Witness the various vendors, even customers popping up from time to time with questions.

So he could have been booted out of the Associates Programme for whatever reason, but still able to register for the forum.

They have absolute discretion over their programme but a public forum could possibly pose a legal minefield.
July 14, 2009 08:03AM
AnonymousReader26
Posts:12
New member
Member since: 2008-12-21
:: Quote ::
Subject: Re: Troll on Amazon Associate Boards
It is odd that they don't see the need for a private forum for Associates. Amazon does so many things very well, while other important things are neglected. It would make a big difference if some employee were delegated to interact with us on the board, someone who could pass on our requests and concerns to the powers that be, but that would require a truly private forum.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/14/2009 08:54AM by AnonymousReader26.
July 14, 2009 08:53AM
Harold
Posts:2494
Senior member
Member since: 2006-11-30
:: Quote ::
Subject: Re: Troll on Amazon Associate Boards
Oddly enough, there's a staffer on the Amazon UK boards, who goes by the name of Nigel, who posts fairly regularly and answers questions. He clearly has no power at all, but does promise to pass things on.

Why they don't do that for the US boards, when the US Associates program must be at least an order of magnitude larger than the UK one, completely baffles me.
July 14, 2009 10:05PM
Ian C. Purdie
Posts:2220
Senior member
Member since: 2008-12-12
:: Quote ::
Subject: Re: Troll on Amazon Associate Boards
In the dark dim past there was a person or two in there. One especially helpful.

I have some vague recollection they came in for the very same abuse we speak about.

I assume they, back then, simply gave up in disgust. So it seems to me that there is now some underlying reason they can't act.

I don't believe after all this time [recent months] they aren't interested. They're obviously listening to us and acting where possible [i.e. deletions] and that is a waste of resources.

I can only conclude there is some undisclosed legal reason.

Could it be he was kicked out of the programme years ago and has for a long time since been provoking them into a situation where he can sue Amazon for breach of his [whatever] rights?

Logically we would all say "off with his head". No doubt Amazon's lawyers have examined all this and might have another conclusion known only to themselves.

He's just a pain in the butt!
July 15, 2009 12:49AM
Ian C. Purdie
Posts:2220
Senior member
Member since: 2008-12-12
:: Quote ::
Subject: Re: Troll on Amazon Associate Boards
Quote:
He clearly has no power at all, but does promise to pass things on
But do you have an Expendable or anyone remotely like him over there?

Having said that, how come he doesn't harass the other Amazon Forums? As far as I know he doesn't.

So what gives?
July 15, 2009 12:53AM
Harold
Posts:2494
Senior member
Member since: 2006-11-30
:: Quote ::
Subject: Re: Troll on Amazon Associate Boards
Ian, the UK forums do not have an Expendable or anyone remotely like him. That said, the "regulars" -- only a few of them -- are generally more preoccupied with blowing off steam than in responding to questions or having a real discussion.

When Wes isn't around the US boards, they are real discussion boards, and that may explain why he doesn't post on the UK or CA boards. He wouldn't be noticed!
July 16, 2009 01:58PM
Herb
Posts:17
New member
Member since: 2008-12-22
:: Quote ::
Subject: Re: Troll on Amazon Associate Boards
he may have tried to troll the abestweb.com forum a few days ago. someone with the handle "associate advocate" posted something (I forget what) which got him bounced, but only for two days.

But the AMZN forum is nice and quiet, lately . . .
July 17, 2009 05:32PM
Herb
Posts:17
New member
Member since: 2008-12-22
:: Quote ::
Subject: Re: Troll on Amazon Associate Boards
here's an excerpt of one of his posts -- does it sound familiar?

""I'm not mad. I'm just reporting a spammer who uses duplicate sites, which is supposed to be against the rules.

Excuse the heck out of me!

Geez, people are really dim here, aren't they?
""
July 17, 2009 05:36PM
Harold
Posts:2494
Senior member
Member since: 2006-11-30
:: Quote ::
Subject: Re: Troll on Amazon Associate Boards
So, two weeks later, our friend is back on the Amazon boards.

His first manifestation, as "Regulator," got promptly deleted. Now he's set up several different instances of "STFU you old fart" (clever, an alias that is insulting even if you don't read the messages) and they seem to have only deleted a few of them--same name, different underlying IDs.

And no one's in the office till Monday!

After Amazon's fiasco with the Kindle and the pirated Orwell books, I guess I shouldn't be surprised.
August 01, 2009 04:49AM
Ian C. Purdie
Posts:2220
Senior member
Member since: 2008-12-12
:: Quote ::
Subject: Re: Troll on Amazon Associate Boards
He's definitely paranoid
August 01, 2009 07:30PM
Current Page: 1 of 2

Sorry, you do not have permission to post/reply in this forum.