When a topic is a website

This topic contains 13 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  Joan Fry 1 year, 4 months ago.

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  • Joan Fry Original Poster
    Topics Started: 11Replies Posted: 324

    Has anybody clicked on the website with “volcano” as the last word? There are a few more “posts” that are simply a way of reaching–who? As a writer, the last thing I need is somebody hacking my data. Why are people posting these sites instead of just giving their topic a name, and are they safe?

    ShilohsGirl ShilohsGirl
    Topics Started: 7Replies Posted: 49

    I have no idea, I wouldn’t try it just to be safe.
    Maybe contact Smartpak and ask that they be taken down?

    "Think of riding as a science, but love it as an art" ~George Morris

    G & S
    Topics Started: 16Replies Posted: 253

    I too object to these websites using this great website to promote their products or services that have nothing to do with horses, riding or anything else “horsey”. I have phoned Smart Pak 3 times now to bring this problem to their attention, and the good news is that somebody at Smart Pak does go through at least once a week and remove these posts. It would be nice if they would create a way for those of us who use, enjoy & respect the Smart Pak website to flag these posts for them so they could more quickly and efficiently remove them, but that might well involve major rewrites to the website, which Smart Pak seems unwilling to do at this point. There is a phone number on this website, and perhaps if more people contacted them by phone (not just e-mail – – there is something about a phone conversation that is more immediate and powerful than an e-mail under these circumstances) perhaps the powers that be at Smart Pak would see that I am not the only one who finds these posts offensive.

    At least someone is checking about once a week and removing the inappropriate posts, so they are aware of the problem. But there needs to be more than just me expressing concern and displease at this great website being misused in this fashion. I don’t remember exactly where I saw the phone number, but it is somewhere on the opening screen, and if I am remembering correctly, somewhere on the upper left hand corner.

    Joan Fry Original Poster
    Topics Started: 11Replies Posted: 324

    Good suggestions. I’ll phone Smart Pak and ask about them, and ask if they can block them.

    Joe-Joe Joe-Joe
    Topics Started: 17Replies Posted: 1205

    I often spend most of the morning reporting them as spam. It doesn’t get them removed any more quickly, but it helps keep my blood pressure down. I have also had phone conversations with Smartpak about these – apparently the term “spam filter” means nothing to them.

    It is never the horse's fault

    G & S
    Topics Started: 16Replies Posted: 253

    Because the fraudulent posts usually stay up for the day or 2 it takes for Smart Pak to get around to checking each forum, these posters apparently figure it is worth the time to post on the Smart Pak website. There does not appear to be a full time website person whose main duty is to take care of the website, so checking for illegitimate posts is only being done about once a week or so. This is an improvement, as previously it was not checked even that often by someone who had the authority and knowledge to remove these kinds of parasitic posts. So they are trying, but if the website could add a function so that the rest of us who use the website often could “flag” these posts for removal, it would reduce the amount of time the Smart Pak employee would have to spend calling up each individual sub-category to check it for questionable posts. While this might take some reprogramming, in the long run it could be cost effective for Smart Pak as it would put move much of the responsibility for finding these posts over to us, so that the Smart Pak person only had to check one place and decide if the posts in that “folder” were indeed unacceptable and remove them. That has to be less time consuming, a better use of Smart Pak employee time, and ultimately more efficient and less expensive, therefore worth the cost of the changes to the website. If we want that to happen, we need to gently convince the powers that be at Smart Pak that we are seriously unhappy and that we are willing to help patrol the website to solve this problem.

    The phone number is in the upper left hand corner of the opening page. I have not looked for a mailing address, but it is probably somewhere on the website.

    This is a great website, a unique place to share info on anything horse related. We need to make sure that Smart Pak understands how grateful we are that they maintain this website for us, and how upset we are that it is being misused in this way.

    Joe-Joe Joe-Joe
    Topics Started: 17Replies Posted: 1205

    G&S – Every post has a place near the top labeled “Report this post”. We can click that, and give “spam” as the reason for reporting. It doesn’t help at all, but if someone monitored the Forum (and, per SmartPak, someone is supposed to be doing just that on a daily basis), it could.

    It is disheartening, because it seems that a lot of people have simply given up, and I found this forum to be a good place to learn things.

    It is never the horse's fault

    G & S
    Topics Started: 16Replies Posted: 253

    You are quite right Jo Jo – On my screen it is gray letters on a gray background, and I missed it. I will start flaging improper posts.

    For those who are disheartened, it is better now than when I made the first phone call to Smart Pak. Even it the website is not being checked daily, it is being checked, which is more than was happening before I made the 3 phone calls. And if we all use the “report this post” button regularly, maybe we can convince the people posting these parasitic postings to stop wasting their time because they are quickly caught & eliminated.

    Maybe Smart Pak could make the “report this post” button stand out a bit better than gray on gray? Interestingly enough, when I mentioned that there was no mechanism to flag these types of posts, no one at Smart Pak mentioned that such a mechanism does exist.

    Joe-Joe Joe-Joe
    Topics Started: 17Replies Posted: 1205

    G – I don’t think the phone answering people are very familiar with the IT stuff, judging from my conversations with them. It is almost as if the Forum is a foreign country. They are very polite and try to be helpful, but have no apparent power to do anything.

    It is never the horse's fault

    G & S
    Topics Started: 16Replies Posted: 253

    It was not a telephone person I talked to. I was transferred to the person who was supposedly in charge of the website. I’m really terrible with names and did not write her name down, and I just don’t remember it. But after I talked to her, I did notice that the somebody with the power to delete posts was banishing the parasitic posts on average about once a week.

    Joe-Joe Joe-Joe
    Topics Started: 17Replies Posted: 1205

    Well, that sounds like a vast improvement! I just gave up, except when I get an email that someone has posted a real comment.

    It is never the horse's fault

    G & S
    Topics Started: 16Replies Posted: 253

    Giving up is not in my DNA. Current situation is still not perfect, but now that the presence of the Smart Pak mechanism for alerting the powers that be to an parasitical post has been mentioned, I’m hoping that I’m not the only one who failed to see it, and that now more legitimate posters will use it to make the job of finding and removing the parasites easier for the staff at Smart Pak. The easier we can make it for them, the less time they will have to spend on it, and the more willing they are likely to be to remove the parasites quickly. Joint efforts are almost always more successful than a single person.

    G & S
    Topics Started: 16Replies Posted: 253

    I accidentally found a parasitic post and hit the “report this topic” button and the post turned bright pink!!!! So hopefully this will also allow others to see that the post has already been flagged, so we don’t get multiple people flagging the same posts.

    Joan Fry Original Poster
    Topics Started: 11Replies Posted: 324

    It’s too bad the spam on this forum has gotten so out of hand. I will try to do my part and click the “report this topic” button. Thanks for the advice, G&S and Joe-Joe!

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