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Privacy concerns at ForumIAS

This post is to get views and clarification from the owners of Forumias
The issues are

1. The perdonal info of the users shouldnt be available to third parties like Flavido , dhrishti iAS , chokilangam etc , may users have reported that they have recived promotion on email as well as via calls , This is complete voilation of privacy
2. The forum must take steps to encrypt and prevent the privacy of members (fourm still uses http nd not https )
3. Even after flagging promoting posts no action is taken againt such users , which implies that owners may have alloweed them
4. Whenever an issue is raised by member , the id get banned or lost gets deleted , which might happen to this post too

I request owners to fully diclose
A) patnerships
B) allowed advertisers
C) encryption policy
D) internal bylaws regarding sharing of info of users

Also please clearly disclose all privacy related info and internal rules

Tagging actuve members so tht issue is noted
@DrKingSchultz @Neyawn @doc @andy133

And @Jaime_Lannister , on conditio that hey doesnt burns down the fourmias like his sister cerci

Comments

  • The mods and supermods are elevated users of ForumIAS who perform an additional unpaid duty of keeping the forum clean and in proper form (as much as feasible). They have nothing whatsoever to do with providing the users' private information to advertisers or other third parties.
    Prelims: 4. Mains: 2*. Interview: 1. Rank: NA.
    Literature of English Language.
    "Only through time time is conquered."
  • These are reasonable apprehensions that needed to be raised.
    As for the mods, they are doing a great job. We need to take into account that they are unpaid and are doing it just for the forum and us.

    But, I have noticed that whenever someone posts anything that might in any slighest way be offensive to coachings, the users are threatened with deactivation and banning.
    2 points that I want to make:

    1. At times when users share info/costs about a coaching, it might be tenable based on the defences of justification/truth/fair comment/public good, both under law of torts and Indian Penal Code.
    2. I have noticed that the forum behaves like super authority and someone that is above all and which can't be wrong. Even though the users might be at fault, the way they are threatened/banned is totally against the principles of natural justice.

    Legal clarifications apart, this is a public forum. We expect a more mature, responsible and user-friendly behaviour.
  • edited May 1
    I am one of the moderators here. I use this profile whenever i am unable to login from my original profile.

    Let me make one thing absolutely clear to you.
    Moderators(most of them) here are just "normal members" like you. They can edit/delete threads or comments. Thats it. We do not have any other power.
    We(moderators) are not involved in any policy formulation or administration of this website.

    All the information or data belongs to and is handled by "root(administrator of this website)" and the owner(co-founder) of this website.
    The owner of this website is its legal representative and we have nothing to do with anything that happens on this forum. We, in our free time, just moderate any content which may not be useful for upsc preparation. It involves actions like editing or deleting spam/bad grammar/uncivilized behavior.

    After seeing your comments from the past few days, mr @zohanmukharjee , I would like to humbly request you to not mention the word "moderators" whenever you are addressing any policy issues of ForumIAS.

    Always tag "root". He is the right person to address your issues.

    [I am editing the word "moderator" from your comment, mr @zohanmukharjee ]
    Self respect means everything.
    I am not going to let myself down.
  • edited May 2
    Ok @Diplomacy , tagging @root here ,
  • This post is to get views and clarification from the owners of Forumias
    The issues are

    1. The perdonal info of the users shouldnt be available to third parties like Flavido , dhrishti iAS , chokilangam etc , may users have reported that they have recived promotion on email as well as via calls , This is complete voilation of privacy
    2. The forum must take steps to encrypt and prevent the privacy of members (fourm still uses http nd not https )
    3. Even after flagging promoting posts no action is taken againt such users , which implies that owners may have alloweed them
    4. Whenever an issue is raised by member , the id get banned or lost gets deleted , which might happen to this post too

    I request owners to fully diclose
    A) patnerships
    B) allowed advertisers
    C) encryption policy
    D) internal bylaws regarding sharing of info of users

    Also please clearly disclose all privacy related info and internal rules

    Tagging actuve members so tht issue is noted
    @DrKingSchultz @Neyawn @doc @andy133

    And @Jaime_Lannister , on conditio that hey doesnt burns down the fourmias like his sister cerci

    Thank you Zohan for bringing this up. Here is the clarification that you need.


    1. The perdonal info of the users shouldnt be available to third parties like Flavido , dhrishti iAS , chokilangam etc , may users have reported that they have recived promotion on email as well as via calls , This is complete voilation of privacy

    We have not shared any information with anyone in the past one year. However there have been three instances of sharing information with Neostencil India Pvt Ltd where a police complaint filed against some User IDs with proofs of commercially selling /sharing courses was sent to us subsequent to which we had to had to share information.

    We have also deleted some posts when sent a notice for the same by Vision India and Vaji. This has nothing to do with any association that we have had / may have with them. Legal entities have full rights to protect their commercial interest.

    We have also deleted some content on the basis of legal notice from Penguin Books and Tata McGraw Hill.

    Note that we are legally responsible for this as we also receive a notice from Amazon which would terminate servers within 24-48 hours in case of such violations, unless we have a satisfactory defence for it.

    We do not encourage sharing of courses and material that is otherwise not available freely. We do not have a problem when users share things privately. But selling / sharing at a price or even free is not something we encourage. We at at best condone it, due to lack of time or attention span, but we do not support it at all.

    Why we do not do this?

    To better understand the impact of something, try to imagine an exaggerated form of it.What is the primary identity of the site ? We wanted to make it a self help community for civil services where guidance and knowledge is shared, especially for those who want to take the self study mode.

    Once, we allow piracy as a matter of policy, sharing such things becomes "acceptable" In a years time, you become the hub of copyright material selling , and people do not come to discuss, they come to download stuff. You are another xaam.jin


    3. The forum must take steps to encrypt and prevent the privacy of members (forum still uses http nd not https )

    Yes, that is something that is on the cards. Thank you for pointing it out.




    5. Even after flagging promoting posts no action is taken againt such users , which implies that owners may have alloweed them.

    We currently lack the manpower to do so. Advertisements are not allowed on the thread. Advertisers can buy advertisement slots on the website and sponsor the cost of running the website. For that matter, it is totally upto the moderators to close or delete such threads which they deem promotional in nature. If a thread is a genuine promotion, 1) it would have to be a paid one 2) It would be marked SPONSORED . However, we have not had something like this yet, nor do we have it on the cards.


    7. Whenever an issue is raised by member , the id get banned or lost gets deleted , which might happen to this post too


    Members get banned because only when they violate the rules. Like you have created this thread, you have not violated a rule. But if you create five such threads, thus trying to make "privacy issues" the primary thing seen on forumias homepage, especially when Prelims examination is so close, then you get banned.

    You also get banned, when you try to put a sensational title to a thread again and again. Or you try to spam the forum with links to the thread you have created and spam the forum's other threads.


    We encourage everyone to participate more meaningfully and help each other , not by sharing material , which is easily available everywhere, but by answering user queries.

    We are okay, if this decreases user participation. We are okay with a small but effective userbase.

    We <3 you :)


  • Until some 15-20 years back, Indians used to converse most personal matters on postcards, which were open to everyone's eyes.

    Just a random thought.
    CSM 2015 | CSE 2016 - Ranked it Out!!
    Thank Lord Shiva...
This discussion has been closed.

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