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A note from a Moderator--please read.

Discussion in 'MCAT Discussions' started by Tweetie_bird, Jun 20, 2002.

  1. Tweetie_bird

    7+ Year Member

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    Lately, there has been controversy about members that work for one specific company trashing other companies on SDN, especially without having tried their services. There have also been episodes where people are may be doing questionable illegal/immoral activities on SDN. Let it be known that SDN administrators and moderators will not tolerate that, and will close or delete any thread that may threaten SDN's presence.

    I also want to add that neither EK, TPR or Kaplan is really responsible for the scores we get. Only we are. Please only post your own experiences with each test prep company, not what's "heard around the block."

    To those that are actually posing questions:: know that a lot of people responding here are also tutors for one test prep company or another. Would it surprize you if they were advertising their own company other others, while not advocating other prep companies based on "other people's experiences?" So please, take advice with a grain of salt and know that how you do on the MCAT is purely subjective, and not because a certain prep course is "good or bad." DO YOUR OWN RESEARCH. TALK TO THE COMPANIES!! Again, please refrain from making comments about a prep company UNLESS you have tried them. You all know who you are.

    Thank you,
    Tweetie
    PS: Those of you that are noticing questionable behavior on the SDN forums, please contact the moderator ASAP so we can address the issue promptly.
     
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  3. leorl

    Physician Moderator Emeritus Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved 10+ Year Member

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    I would like to bump this and support Tweetie's suggestion, which will help us ensure the maintenance of quality on SDN that the moderators and administrators can help provide.

    Please, when titling your threads, do not trash companies, implicitly or explicitly imply wrongdoing/illegal activity concerning the company, or discuss illegal procurement of products.

    We realize that some of these areas draw fine lines. In other words, we're asking a "please think before you write" policy so that we can avoid hairy situations with those sensitive to issues regarding certain companies.

    These messages are not meant to berate, but rather to call attention to issues that were never realized before, but have come to a head now. Thanks much for your attention!
     
  4. Lee

    Lee Sleestack
    Staff Member Administrator 10+ Year Member

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    Just one last note about this issue. This week, SDN received a legal order from one of the MCAT prep companies regarding user discussions about copying their products and about slanderous statements being made against them.

    Obviously, copying copyrighted materials of this nature is illegal. That's a no-brainer. Additionally, our Terms of Service (TOS) specifically states that SDN does not permit illegal activities such as this to be coordinated through the forums. These threads were closed.

    The other issue was regarding the difficult subject of slander. SDN has always supported free speech (with the exception of illegal activities, porn, hate speech, and direct attacks against others). That's one of the reasons why SDN has been so successful over the years.

    SDN moderators and administrators are not here to monitor for slander. It is not in their position description, nor is it part of the TOS. It is essentially impossible for a moderator to know if someone is posting a legitimate complaint or a slanderous statement.

    SDN itself is a forum, and has no positions on any subject, so SDN is not liable for slander on the part of a guest. However, under established case-law, guests should be aware that they are personally liable for any slanderous statements made against another person, company or product. That being said, slander is very hard to prove in the United States. Here's why:

    A negative statement is not slander. If you have an honest gripe about a company, that's A-OK. Post away. That's what makes the U.S. great.

    However, if you are an employee for one company and are trying to harm a competitor by posting false statements -- that's slander. And apparently that had happened at SDN a few weeks ago.

    In the future, SDN is not going to close or delete any threads regarding companies (unless they violate the TOS). However, be aware that you could be held personally liable by a company if you are slandering them.

    Finally, be assured, your personal information or IP address is secure with SDN and will not be released to anyone without a signed court-order.
     
  5. relatively prime

    relatively prime post happy member
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  6. dtreese

    dtreese Caramel Gollum
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    I guess this will serve as a bump.

    Thank you for addressing this matter. I find it disturbing that anyone would trash any of the study methods. Different methods work for different people because nobody's brain is exactly the same as another person's. The presence of multiple study methods in the market promotes competition, ensuring that the companies will strive to improve their services. Trashing any service in order to promote another, on the other hand, is not beneficial to the consumer, since it does nothing to encourage companies to provide a better service.

    I had a wonderful experience using a particular study method, and I shamelessly promoted it until I began working for the company. Since then, I have been reticent to post much at all on this thread, and I try to remember to make it clear up front that I am biased.

    Please remember that posting derogatory comments about a test prep company is not helpful. It is one thing to promote a study method, but another to say, "This method is crap, use this method." The latter is nothing but low class and tacky.

    To the readers of this forum who are trying to use a study method, please consider a person's potential motivations when reading the discussions. A person who is trashing one method may be disgruntled or hoping to indirectly promote another method for various means.
     
  7. Tweetie_bird

    7+ Year Member

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  8. Bikini Princess

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    bump, i hope everyone notices this thread and reads it..
     

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