2+2=evil?

vinylweatherman

You type well loads
Joined
Oct 14, 2004
Location
United Kingdom
Just wanted to post up here, to direct people to this running blog entry that's going on about the 2plus2 poker forum. I'm out of my mind livid about it at this point, and probably not thinking too straight even. But I really want to share this and let people know what's goin on. So, here's the whole sordid tale... =)

http://www.casinomeister.com/forums...arning-because-i-posted-about-my-project.html

Why not get a second opinion.

Ask Bryan whether you would be able to post the exact same announcement you placed at 2+2, and see whether the rules here also require you to meet the same standards as other operators do when posting their own promotions, which here is to become accredited first.

The reply from 2+2 is worrying, as it seems members have been kept in the dark about the underlying arrangements for the posting of offers, and even some types of information. It seems that 2+2 members are not to be allowed to hear of projects and offers who's advocates have not first paid the appropriate fee.

Whilst not necessarily evil, it shows that the information flow to 2+2 members is not unbiased, and that payment of fees enables some offers to be discussed whilst others are not even allowed to be mentioned, let alone opened for discussion.

P. V. here has received reprimands about too much "plugging" of his own project for players' document verification, yet he is still here, and was not suddenly banned without warning or explanation when he first posted that he had launched, and was trying to get operators to sign up along with players. He was merely warned about "cross posting" by bringing up the fact that he had launched his service in any thread where players bitched about the ID process.

I am sure an open discussion about Bitcoin is allowed here, and you can ask to be made the official rep for your projects.

If your project gets going, I can see 2+2 members wanting to discuss it, and may ask why Casinomeister has a Bitcoin rep, and 2+2 does not. The answer is that 2+2 banned the Bitcoin rep because he didn't pay, whereas there is no charge here at Casinomeister simply for becoming the rep for an operator or other industry participant.

Rather that continue to attack them, ignore them and make them ask you to come back because 2+2 members are complaining about not having access to you without having to wander over to Casinomeister.

If Bitcoin is going to be used for casinos as well as poker, then here is the best place for that side of things.

The main problem with Bitcoin is it being located in Costa Rica, as players outside the US do not have to resort to such drastic measures to carry on playing poker. I would not use something like Bitcoin whilst I am free to use Neteller, cards, and even PayPal for gambling here in the UK.
 

jstrike

Dormant account
Joined
Nov 16, 2010
Location
Europe
Well, VW, thanks for the level-headed response as usual.

Just to clarify, we aren't affiliated with Bitcoin, and I don't represent Bitcoin or the people in charge of that project... all I represent is my own site, which takes Bitcoin as its only payment method.

I wouldn't have posted the announcement here in the same way as I did over there, because we're not CM-accredited and the rules laid out by Bryan are very clear as to what's allowed and what isn't. There isn't a CM forum that resembles their forum. That's just not the atmosphere around here. Having said that, I've been allowed to talk about my project here, and I'm also pretty sure I would have gotten a warning here before being permanently banned if what I wrote was too much of a plug. What I wrote didn't scream "spam". But it did include a bonus code, and that would've been clearly off-limits around here.

Some of their boards are informative, but some of them, like the one I posted on, are borderline spam-fests. If you look over there, consider their TOS and then the "Internet Poker" forum, it's full of posts about bonuses and rakebacks, started and participated in by users who may or may not be affiliated with the companies involved, and no one's apparently being banned for talking about those companies. There's no clearly defined process like a Baptism laid out to determine who gets accredited, so I guess it's just whoever pays them...but they don't say that, either, so all we can do is assume it. The rules for posting are superficially vague or nonexistent, and I guess they like having it look like a "real discussion" is going on, which just happens to promote the companies who pay them, and sweeping anything they don't like under the rug.

I'm proud to be a rep here at CM, even for a non-accredited site, and there's nothing I want more than to one day get my site accredited here. And that's because the rules make it possible to know where you stand here. The separation of affiliates, reps, accredited reps and sponsors makes it honest, and demands honesty from everyone.

Truth is, I wouldn't post again on 2+2 if they begged me, and we will never place an ad there or put a rep on their board. I got no interest in feeding their racket. But now I should drop it, cool off and let it go.
 

vinylweatherman

You type well loads
Joined
Oct 14, 2004
Location
United Kingdom
Well, VW, thanks for the level-headed response as usual.

Just to clarify, we aren't affiliated with Bitcoin, and I don't represent Bitcoin or the people in charge of that project... all I represent is my own site, which takes Bitcoin as its only payment method.

I wouldn't have posted the announcement here in the same way as I did over there, because we're not CM-accredited and the rules laid out by Bryan are very clear as to what's allowed and what isn't. There isn't a CM forum that resembles their forum. That's just not the atmosphere around here. Having said that, I've been allowed to talk about my project here, and I'm also pretty sure I would have gotten a warning here before being permanently banned if what I wrote was too much of a plug. What I wrote didn't scream "spam". But it did include a bonus code, and that would've been clearly off-limits around here.

Some of their boards are informative, but some of them, like the one I posted on, are borderline spam-fests. If you look over there, consider their TOS and then the "Internet Poker" forum, it's full of posts about bonuses and rakebacks, started and participated in by users who may or may not be affiliated with the companies involved, and no one's apparently being banned for talking about those companies. There's no clearly defined process like a Baptism laid out to determine who gets accredited, so I guess it's just whoever pays them...but they don't say that, either, so all we can do is assume it. The rules for posting are superficially vague or nonexistent, and I guess they like having it look like a "real discussion" is going on, which just happens to promote the companies who pay them, and sweeping anything they don't like under the rug.

I'm proud to be a rep here at CM, even for a non-accredited site, and there's nothing I want more than to one day get my site accredited here. And that's because the rules make it possible to know where you stand here. The separation of affiliates, reps, accredited reps and sponsors makes it honest, and demands honesty from everyone.

Truth is, I wouldn't post again on 2+2 if they begged me, and we will never place an ad there or put a rep on their board. I got no interest in feeding their racket. But now I should drop it, cool off and let it go.

I see, so the SAME type of content as yours is allowed provided payment has been made, but post the SAME type of content WITHOUT making payment, and the information is censored from even being discussed, and the poster banned without warning.

You were CLEARLY told later on that your content was against the rules NOT because of what it was, but because you hadn't PAID to post it. If there is nothing in the rules about such fees, they can hardly expect members to know, so it follows that others are probably breaking the same rules without knowing, and other discussion threads and members may have similarly disappeared without trace, with 2+2 members none the wiser to the fact this has gone on.

When someone gets banned here, it is not "cloak and dagger", but a footprint is left behind of what they did to get banned, and the fact they are banned is shown by their username changing to red with "banned user" beneath it.

When non accredited casinos post their own bonus codes, much of the post remains intact, but the codes and clickable links are removed, and a warning posted to the rep for all to see.

Had you done the same here, it is likely you would have been warned not to post the codes and a link to your site.

Had you posted something without codes and links at 2+2, they may not have reacted by banning you.

If 2+2 made their rules clearer to start with, you would have known that you had to buy some kind of "license" from 2+2 to post what you did.

If your site ONLY takes Bitcoin, it is unlikely to get accreditation since Bitcoin is based in Costa Rica, and I would presume your site is based there too. It is exceptional for Bryan to accredit a casino based in Costa Rica, as there is no licensing authority to protect players should the operator turn rogue. Virtual Group are based in Costa Rica, and have been freely ripping off players for years with the Costa Rican government doing nothing about it whilst they still get their cut.
 

jstrike

Dormant account
Joined
Nov 16, 2010
Location
Europe
While we are Costa Rica-based, we hold to our own ethical standards which are the highest in the industry, and are radically transparent on our site. Every card shoe is published daily, along with spin distributions and randomness tests. But your point about CR-based casinos is well taken, and I'd expect we'd have licensing in another jurisdiction, or at least some pretty heavy auditing, before being accredited.

Bitcoin is actually not based in Costa Rica, or anywhere. There's no company that owns Bitcoin. It's an open source network, unlike Paypal or Moneybookers... the money is stored on your own hard drive as an encrypted file, and transferred directly from peer to peer, a lot like file sharing, and you have to trust whoever you're sending it to, because once it's sent and the other computers on the network see that you sent it, they all update to show who the new owner is, and then your coin stops working for you and starts working for the person you sent it to. This is why there are no transaction fees.

There are currency exchanges that let you buy and sell with other people, which are the closest thing to any central authority Bitcoin has. The two largest exchanges are based in Japan and Chile. They do let you keep coins or dollars in accounts on their servers for the purpose of trading, and you can send directly from there to another Bitcoin user if you want, so in a way it's a little bit like having a Paypal account if you sign up with one of them. But they're not in control of the currency... no one is. Which makes it all kind of scary and exciting at the same time.
 

IanO

Regular Human
Joined
Jul 7, 2009
Location
Ireland.
I had a similar run in with the folks over at 2+2.

A member had posted incorrect facts about a site I was representing, and an affiliate of ours pointed it out to me. I was not a member of the forum at the time, but in an attempt to be helpful I opened an account and replied to the thread, setting people straight and letting them know what to do to get more asistance/info. No advertising, no spam, and with all the right intentions.

I log back in the next day to see if anyone has responded with any questions to be met with: ''Account Banned. Date ban will be lifted: Never'. I contacted them and was told that my username was similar to the name of the site and as we had not paid to be advertisers on the forum my account had been closed.

What really bugged me was that two other posts by other users were deleted from the thread, yet mine remained with the 'banned' tag. What would you think if you see a bunch of members say things about a site, then someone claiming to represent the site says something different and the rep gets immediately banned? If I was a player I would immediately assume the rep was full of it.

OK, so perhaps there are rules about becoming an official rep on the forum. I admit I probably should have looked a little harder before I leaped, but did I really deserve the immediate banhammer?

If I owned a gambling forum, and a rep came forward to help with a site, I'd make it my business to verify that rep and encourrage them to stay. More reps means better support for the players... no? This aint rocket science. No mail from them before or after I was banned, or at all until I contacted them.

At the end of the day they seemed a lot more interested in improving their own bottom line that doing what they could to get their members the best support available.
 

nisosbar

Ueber Meister
PABnonaccred
Joined
Aug 28, 2009
Location
Right here
Not evil, but it seems like many members there are quite young, based on all the references to prostitution and other illicit activities. Okay, yes, it's a forum about gambling and poker, but I never liked it over there, and rarely check in anymore. Now that online poker is a shadow of what it was, I'm not sure what the point would be now, unless you are big on live play, which I'm not really.
 

Simmo!

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
May 29, 2004
Location
England
Here's my take on it fwiw but first I'd like to point out that although I am a moderator here, I moderate to Bryan's rules and ideology, not mine.

The way I look at it is this: has a user joined the forum with an agenda to promote? If the answer is yes, then the next question is "are they looking to participate in the spirit of the forum" - or get away with the minimum needed to get their brand noticed.

Usernames that are brands can be an initial indicator but not immediately conclusive. Its the first few posts that define it for me. Is the user clearly contributing something useful to existing discussions without sticking the brand in as opportunity presents? Or are they doing friendly-yet-pointless posts with a view to simply building a post-count (usually for sig priviledges) and/or brand profile.

After a while you get a feel for who it's genuinely nice to have around and as a moderator your tolerance levels adjust accordingly.

I don't think enough people stop to realise a forum is run by - and belongs to - someone else. If they are happy for other people to benefit from traffic to their forum then that should be clear somewhere (ie: signature priviledges). If it's not clear, then IMO it's not good etiquette to go there and divert visitors they have doene all the work to atrract.

Or put another way - if people want to do that they should get clarification that it's acceptable.


Simmo!
 

jstrike

Dormant account
Joined
Nov 16, 2010
Location
Europe
I'm with you on that, Simmo. There need to be rules, and any rules are preferable to total arbitrary chaos. And -- well, obviously, I guess -- I should have gotten clarification first. Thing is, I entered that site in a very similar way to this one. I wasn't actually on that forum to promote my site in the first place. For one thing, I didn't actually have a casino until a few weeks ago. I never, once, ever mentioned the name of my site there during beta testing. I never even linked to my own website where people would be able to find info about it. I never gave my name... just "jstrike". I had a lot of questions about how to get payment processing, how and where to get incorporated, how to keep things legal, how to avoid the pitfalls in starting a poker room... and all said, I only started 4 threads. I had about 100 posts on there, and now they're all just gone. 90% of the conversations I was involved with had nothing to do with my project at all, it was just talking with people about their questions, mostly in the legal forum, and trying to soak up the info I could. I wasn't, y'know, lying in wait for two years to spring this on them. But the first time I put a link to my site, banhammer.

I get that it's their site and they spent effort to build it up. But whether they like it or not, a forum by its nature becomes a public space, like a casino...it attracts a community, and dealing with that community in a reasonable way is critical to its success. And if it doesn't deal with them reasonably, then it deserves to get called on it. Just like I wouldn't expect to flat-ban some guy without a backlash, if I didn't know who he was. Guys on my site joke about not being allowed to mention the Bitcoin poker competition, and I always say I'm not a censor, I'm not a prison warden, you guys want to all use my site to plan to go meet up over there, it's fine with me. I was a bartender, and a poker dealer, a waiter and a taxi driver... my idea of customer service is, the customer's the boss. Now, I've already had to ban about 20 users from my site, but never without either an explanation or an invitation to email me personally and talk about it. All of them were for multiple signups and/or pretending they were from outside the US. Of those, the few who actually contacted me have all been reversed. I almost banned a colluding pair, but talked to them and found out they were boyfriend and girlfriend, and 300 miles apart. I told them they can't play on the same table anymore, and they understood, and now they don't. Now they're on different tables, and they're some of the best people to have in a game. So, communication is good. Giving people the benefit of the doubt, or at least a fair hearing, is the right thing to do. Being a human being is good. I think most people can see the difference between spam and someone finally linking to his own self-made project after dancing around it for two years. But most of all, I think everyone should be treated equally. And as site owners, of course they have the right to treat people unequally, just like I could ban my competitors from visiting my site to take notes, or ban anybody who mentioned them. But if I did that, I'd expect to be loathed for it, and I'd rather be loved. I reckon they need a re-think, or should be called out for what they are, and that's what should be happening to them 'bout now. And there's no comparison between them and this board. So imho, putting yourself in their moderators' shoes isn't even possible, just like I can't put myself in the shoes of a rogue casino operator. Straight-up people don't act like that, and what really gets me...I'm always trying to see things from the other person's point of view, and I try twice as hard when something upsets me. The only time I ever get really angry is when people do stuff I just could never imagine myself doing in a million years. It only happens about once a year, but this is one of those times. :cool:
 

Diane

Ueber Meister
Joined
Dec 20, 2009
Location
WI
Just wanted to post up here, to direct people to this running blog entry that's going on about the 2plus2 poker forum. I'm out of my mind livid about it at this point, and probably not thinking too straight even. But I really want to share this and let people know what's goin on. So, here's the whole sordid tale... =)

http://www.casinomeister.com/forums...arning-because-i-posted-about-my-project.html

I should have known it involved Mason Malmouth ----- he and I have tangled for years online at 2+2 when I had been a member and then face to face over the years at Mirage, Horseshoe Tunica, and Bellagio. He goes half-cocked, likes to attack people without all the facts and then conveniently forgets the details when challenged. He called me a shill one time because years ago I posted a favorable "trip" report for an online casino; Highlands Poker (Doyle's first venture into online gaming). Because some people got seed money to play he assumed I did too, which was not the case.

David Sklansky is more reasonable, but I think his son Mat and Mason are really the only ones involved these days.

But I agree ---- don't go back, just let it go. (But then on the other hand when MM's name comes up I still see red)

Diane
 
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pokeraddict

Webmaster
Joined
Aug 3, 2002
Location
Las Vegas
I am a mod at 2+2 but had nothing to do with this thread in question but wanted to put in my 2 cents. I mod the affiliate forum where another poster makes mention that they were banned for using a brand name. 2+2 used to allow that without advertising and it got so badly abused that it had to end. The forum is too big so flat rules, which are published, had to be made.

The general rule for that forum, and most others, is that you can not promote a project that you are actively involved in. If someone asks a question about it then you can respond as long as your username is not self promotional. You cannot start a thread about websites/projects that you own. If one person is allowed to do it then suddenly everyone is and the forum goes to crap.

Affiliates and poker rooms have to support that free forum. Giving those that support the forum special rights like a special username and support threads helps keep the forum free.
 

vinylweatherman

You type well loads
Joined
Oct 14, 2004
Location
United Kingdom
I am a mod at 2+2 but had nothing to do with this thread in question but wanted to put in my 2 cents. I mod the affiliate forum where another poster makes mention that they were banned for using a brand name. 2+2 used to allow that without advertising and it got so badly abused that it had to end. The forum is too big so flat rules, which are published, had to be made.

The general rule for that forum, and most others, is that you can not promote a project that you are actively involved in. If someone asks a question about it then you can respond as long as your username is not self promotional. You cannot start a thread about websites/projects that you own. If one person is allowed to do it then suddenly everyone is and the forum goes to crap.

Affiliates and poker rooms have to support that free forum. Giving those that support the forum special rights like a special username and support threads helps keep the forum free.

What about the IanO case. He represented a site, but he was trying to set the record straight after incorrect facts were posted by another member. This is surely within the rules, and is nothing more than a right of reply to ensure that an "allegation" about a site made by a member can be challenged by a representative of said site. Choosing a username similar to the brand in such cases is meant to show that they reply is "official", rather than just another member.

The ban was not simply a "time out" so that the rep could bring their replies into line with forum rules, but a "forever" ban, which implies that reps even have to pay simply to be there to answer questions about their site, rather than to promote it. This does NOT allow a forum to work properly in the interests of it's members, because it severely restricts the discussion, even to the point where matters of fact cannot be mentioned (such as members not being allowed to so much as discuss the Bitcoin competition among themselves because the sponsor of it has not paid).

It seems the policy has gone too far the other way, and has resulted in a distorted view of poker being represented there. These is a danger that ROGUE operators could pay to be there, and have any negative comment about them from members censored by the owners, which could give a one sided and misleading impression that said rogue operator is pretty reliable. This could end in grief, as happened with CAP.
 

Simmo!

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
May 29, 2004
Location
England
I am a mod at 2+2 but had nothing to do with this thread in question but wanted to put in my 2 cents. I mod the affiliate forum where another poster makes mention that they were banned for using a brand name. 2+2 used to allow that without advertising and it got so badly abused that it had to end. The forum is too big so flat rules, which are published, had to be made.

The general rule for that forum, and most others, is that you can not promote a project that you are actively involved in. If someone asks a question about it then you can respond as long as your username is not self promotional. You cannot start a thread about websites/projects that you own. If one person is allowed to do it then suddenly everyone is and the forum goes to crap.

Affiliates and poker rooms have to support that free forum. Giving those that support the forum special rights like a special username and support threads helps keep the forum free.

Sounds perfectly reasonable to me. A lot of people see forums as a means to promote their own sites or agendas. It's human nature but it's easy to forget that someone has worked hard to build a community and it should be their perogative to set the rules. Some allow others to come and tap into it for financial gain, others don't. Some tolerate strong views and antagonistic posts, others don't.

But bottom line is you are in someone else's house and whether you think it's fair or not, you are a guest and should observe & respect your hosts' way of running it. And if you don't then build your own.
 

pokeraddict

Webmaster
Joined
Aug 3, 2002
Location
Las Vegas
They are allowed to post replies, just not using a username with their trademark in it. They can start a post with "This is Ian from ...." and reply to the thread. He recognizes this in his post:

OK, so perhaps there are rules about becoming an official rep on the forum. I admit I probably should have looked a little harder before I leaped, but did I really deserve the immediate banhammer?

It seems the policy has gone too far the other way, and has resulted in a distorted view of poker being represented there. These is a danger that ROGUE operators could pay to be there, and have any negative comment about them from members censored by the owners, which could give a one sided and misleading impression that said rogue operator is pretty reliable. This could end in grief, as happened with CAP.

The opposite is true actually. For one, Betfair was rejected because of the Happy Hour bonus and as I understand cannot advertise until they pay everyone. Absolute Poker/Ultimate Bet were also not allowed to advertise after their cheating scandals. Not knowing much about sportsbooks, they once made the mistake of taking a sports forum sponsor that was on Futurebet. Once this was brought to 2+2 management they immediately removed them.

2+2 has some strict rules and really they have to because of their size. OP was handled harshly and if he wanted he could appeal it. I have seen quite a few bannings reversed.
 

jstrike

Dormant account
Joined
Nov 16, 2010
Location
Europe
2+2 has some strict rules and really they have to because of their size. OP was handled harshly and if he wanted he could appeal it. I have seen quite a few bannings reversed.

Not that I would, but Malmouth owns the company doesn't he? Who'm I gonna appeal it to, the Supreme Court?

Now that you've floated the ridiculous idea that 2+2 is kept "free" because you let some sites pay to tout their products and slam others, let's look at the results: Posts vanish, threads are locked, anyone that talks about something that could potentially hurt your advertisers is banned -- anyone who defends their own site is banned -- posts that mention Bitcoin in a positive way are removed, while ones that mention it negatively are allowed to remain. It's the freest forum in the world! No rules: You guys just slash and censor whatever you want, as long as it improves MM's bottom line. You guys are the North Korea of gaming forums.
 

vinylweatherman

You type well loads
Joined
Oct 14, 2004
Location
United Kingdom
They are allowed to post replies, just not using a username with their trademark in it. They can start a post with "This is Ian from ...." and reply to the thread. He recognizes this in his post:





The opposite is true actually. For one, Betfair was rejected because of the Happy Hour bonus and as I understand cannot advertise until they pay everyone. Absolute Poker/Ultimate Bet were also not allowed to advertise after their cheating scandals. Not knowing much about sportsbooks, they once made the mistake of taking a sports forum sponsor that was on Futurebet. Once this was brought to 2+2 management they immediately removed them.

2+2 has some strict rules and really they have to because of their size. OP was handled harshly and if he wanted he could appeal it. I have seen quite a few bannings reversed.


That itself seems harsh. This simply clarifies to other members that the poster works for the company concerned, and is giving an "official" view on something. Having to type "Hi, this is Ian from....." every time they post instead is no different in terms of exposure, but when they do NOT do this they can look like an ordinary member, and could thus HIDE their affiliation in other threads. They could do this, for example, to attack a competitor by posting what appears to be a "player's view" without other participants knowing that this "view" is coming not from an ordinary player, but a competitor.

There is also the matter of "rewriting history" by not just banning someone, but removing all traces of what lead to it. Here, the history is left mostly intact so as to retain a record of what went on. Moderators may make edits to remove links, etc, and may also lock the thread. This does at least mean the history remains available for reference, and can be found later in a search on the subject.


It seems that 2+2 have a policy of removing negative comment, even where it is factual, or at least not disproven. By leaving positive comment alone, this leads to a biased view of that particular operator, and if someone is looking for posts about them, they will retrieve a view biased towards the positive. Similarly, operators that are deemed "negative" by 2+2 have any positive comment removed because it is deemed "advertising", yet negative comment, even factually incorrect, is allowed to remain.

Although an operator can find a way to put their view, they have to negotiate a hurdle of rules which delays a response being posted, and this leaves the incorrect view unchallenged, and thus more likely to be believed.

As with here, many operators only become aware of comment when it is reported to them. They then want to QUICKLY intervene to post their reply in order to minimise the damage being done. The quickest way to do this is to sign up & post a reply straight away, and THEN worry about the "procedure" of becoming an official rep.

Simply challenging a comment is NOT the same as posting offers and advertising. Having a username similar to the brand is also NOT the same as posting offers and inducements to play.

The rules more or less REQUIRE an operator to assume a false identity and sign up as a mere player by choosing a player style username. This happens here, and it is CONFUSING to members because they think they are dealing with another player, rather than a representative of the operator.

The other worry about 2+2 is that once having paid, a representative can post ANYTHING, and anything negative about said operator is not allowed to be posted, not even by another member. This means that paying operators are guaranteed only positive exposure, whereas non-paying operators are likely to find that only negative comment remains, with any positive comment at risk of being removed because it is deemed "advertising".

It also seems that there is no "warning" system in place for those who stray, but rather a FIRST offence merits not just a ban, but a LIFE ban. Here at CM, there are warnings, and "vacation" bans that are designed to educate, and a life ban only comes when the warnings are not heeded, and the poster continues to misbehave.


Whilst 2+2 have banned operators such as Betfair, the system makes it very hard for a new scandal to be exposed involving a paying advertiser, because at first the posters run the risk of being censored because they have started to discuss the issues, but not yet managed to develop the evidence (which is WHY they have started posting at this early stage, they need input from others to investigate and develop the evidence).

It would be interesting to know whether the exposure of major scandals such as UB and AP were initially hampered by the draconian and "protectionist" rules regarding comment about paying advertisers.

We had a similar situation with CAP, where affiliates who had problems with sponsoring programmes were silenced by having their grievances removed, or even being banned from CAP altogether. This structure eventually blew CAP apart from the inside, and when all the "dodgy dealings" that they struggled so hard to keep hidden were exposed, they became a spent force.
 

pokeraddict

Webmaster
Joined
Aug 3, 2002
Location
Las Vegas
Not that I would, but Malmouth owns the company doesn't he? Who'm I gonna appeal it to, the Supreme Court?

Now that you've floated the ridiculous idea that 2+2 is kept "free" because you let some sites pay to tout their products and slam others, let's look at the results: Posts vanish, threads are locked, anyone that talks about something that could potentially hurt your advertisers is banned -- anyone who defends their own site is banned -- posts that mention Bitcoin in a positive way are removed, while ones that mention it negatively are allowed to remain. It's the freest forum in the world! No rules: You guys just slash and censor whatever you want, as long as it improves MM's bottom line. You guys are the North Korea of gaming forums.

Mods don't care who advertises and what their products are. The goal is to just keep the forum clean. There is no great conspiracy and mods make mistakes. There is no financial benefit to the mods. I mod the rakeback forum, the most commercial forum there is, and have not banned anyone in a year+ that was not a first post spammer. Most people that get banned are spammers or posters that are excessively abusive.

I did not see the context of your post. If you feel you got unfairly banned PM Mat Sklansky. You have a really distorted view of how that forum works. Mason is involved very little in the forum and I have only seen a couple of times where he directly instructed people to remove posts. Typically those posts were in off topic forums where things can get really out of hand.
 

pokeraddict

Webmaster
Joined
Aug 3, 2002
Location
Las Vegas
I am in no way answering these officially as a 2+2 rep, just giving my experiences of being a mod there for about 6 years. Sure, there are mods that ban quicker than others. It is hard to run a forum that big without 100 different mod opinions. The place gets a bad rap because of that but there is no other way to run it. No single person could read that forum for a uniform mod guideline. You have 100 different people trying to interpret the rules to fit every situation. The forum is huge and as a percentage of posts the edits and bannings are probably quite low.

If you ever feel like you got treated unfairly PM a red or orange admin. In a forum the size of 2+2 mods are going to make mistakes and get treated harsh or unfair. The forum is not ever going to be perfectly modded unless you have a single person doing it all and it is just too big for that to happen. The forum must be doing something right though or else it could not be that big.

That itself seems harsh. This simply clarifies to other members that the poster works for the company concerned, and is giving an "official" view on something. Having to type "Hi, this is Ian from....." every time they post instead is no different in terms of exposure, but when they do NOT do this they can look like an ordinary member, and could thus HIDE their affiliation in other threads. They could do this, for example, to attack a competitor by posting what appears to be a "player's view" without other participants knowing that this "view" is coming not from an ordinary player, but a competitor.

They will get outed 100% of the time and only hurt their own agenda. There have been so many scandals uncovered on that forum, some coming from people that try to do just as you describe.

There is also the matter of "rewriting history" by not just banning someone, but removing all traces of what lead to it. Here, the history is left mostly intact so as to retain a record of what went on. Moderators may make edits to remove links, etc, and may also lock the thread. This does at least mean the history remains available for reference, and can be found later in a search on the subject.

Only posters that are 14 days or newer can have their entire history deleted. If a post gets deleted it is still there and can be used as a reference later. In can be undeleted.

It seems that 2+2 have a policy of removing negative comment, even where it is factual, or at least not disproven. By leaving positive comment alone, this leads to a biased view of that particular operator, and if someone is looking for posts about them, they will retrieve a view biased towards the positive. Similarly, operators that are deemed "negative" by 2+2 have any positive comment removed because it is deemed "advertising", yet negative comment, even factually incorrect, is allowed to remain.

There are tens of thousands of negative threads floating around 2+2. As for negative 2+2, the only sites that qualify there are Cereus and Betfair afaik. Maybe I don't understand your point.

Although an operator can find a way to put their view, they have to negotiate a hurdle of rules which delays a response being posted, and this leaves the incorrect view unchallenged, and thus more likely to be believed.

As with here, many operators only become aware of comment when it is reported to them. They then want to QUICKLY intervene to post their reply in order to minimise the damage being done. The quickest way to do this is to sign up & post a reply straight away, and THEN worry about the "procedure" of becoming an official rep.

You can create an account just like anyone else and start it with "This is xxx from y room". That seems quite easy to me.

The other worry about 2+2 is that once having paid, a representative can post ANYTHING, and anything negative about said operator is not allowed to be posted, not even by another member. This means that paying operators are guaranteed only positive exposure, whereas non-paying operators are likely to find that only negative comment remains, with any positive comment at risk of being removed because it is deemed "advertising".

I mod the A/R forum where much of the advertisers are. The only edits I've made are thread titles where players are completely out of line. "xyxrakeback.com are scumbag thieves" gets retitled to "Problem with xyzrakeback.com". I extend this same courtesy to anyone regardless of whether they advertise there.

It also seems that there is no "warning" system in place for those who stray, but rather a FIRST offence merits not just a ban, but a LIFE ban. Here at CM, there are warnings, and "vacation" bans that are designed to educate, and a life ban only comes when the warnings are not heeded, and the poster continues to misbehave.

Mods can give someone a warning, give them infraction points where 100 points equals a ban, temp ban or permaban.

It would be interesting to know whether the exposure of major scandals such as UB and AP were initially hampered by the draconian and "protectionist" rules regarding comment about paying advertisers.

Lock Poker has a sponsored forum there, the most expensive package there is, and they got slammed pretty bad through a couple scandals in recent weeks related to one of their sponsored pros cheating in a promotion. Being a sponsor does not give you a license to steal. In fact, it probably holds you to a higher standard.
 

pokeraddict

Webmaster
Joined
Aug 3, 2002
Location
Las Vegas
One other random thought. Unlike most gambling related forums, 2+2 is not a big affiliate company, they are a book publisher with a poker forum. They do not have residual affiliate income to carry the forum. They take media buy type advertising from poker rooms, affiliates and ad networks. They are one of the few places that affiliates can even advertise as affiliates are not in direct competition with 2+2. If they did not give their advertisers a few perks such as a commercial username there would be little incentive to advertise. If you take away the main incentive to advertise, then the forum loses money and could not be sustained.

Still though, there is nothing stopping an operator or affiliate from defending their brand or answering questions about it. They just cannot do it under a commercial username, cannot link to their site and cannot be the OP of a thread about their product.
 
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