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PNL Banned - Site Issues

PNL Banned - Site Issues

Portia has been banned again, but Sift are happy to turn a blind eye to:

1) People taking the p i s s with the anonymous function.

2) The constant scrolling and clicking.

3) No discussion boards such as time out.

4) Spammers - I reported one the other day and didn't even get an acknowledgement.

5) People resurrecting old threads.

6) No options to format comments, such as bold and italics.

7) A blog section that is full of rubbish and sales drivel. And this blog from 2016 is still at near top:

https://www.accountingweb.co.uk/community/blogs/richard-hattersley/accou...

Another respected member gone and site continues to get worse.

Sift really need to sort themselves out.

 

Feel free to add to the list of issues. I'm sure there are plenty more!

 

Replies

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22nd Sep 2017 15:23

Can only add to mrme89's reasonable concerns.

Tom (Herbert) and Richard (Hattersley) would confirm my representations and comments on the site, as regards the abuse of the anonymous feature. From the deafening silence, I can't see any correction, anytime soon. Only in the last couple of days we've witnessed some real stupidity in the nature and tone of (some of) the enquiries.

Whilst I may often wince, at some of PNL's comments, there are very few contributors on Aweb, who have such diverse skills and knowledge, it has to be said. Since the redevelopment of the website, we've seen some very talented members slip by the wayside. It's only in recent weeks that the likes of Andy.Partridge have returned and, even Steve Kesby appears to have returned, in the last few days.

Personally, I find the forum an excellent place for the interchange of commentary. However, in the last few months, there's been a general deterioration in reasonable expectations, which appear to have been overlooked.

Thanks (4)
By Ruddles
to Chris Mann
22nd Sep 2017 15:30

Hear hear

I've often found myself the target of George's tongue-lashing, but a price worth paying for his incredible awareness of relevant legislation and case law.

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By SteveRA
22nd Sep 2017 15:44

I really miss the porcine one during periods of banishment, bacon sandwiches are just no substitute for decent commentary with an ascerbic delivery.

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By mabzden
22nd Sep 2017 15:48

Yay!

Click!

Thanks (1)
to mabzden
22nd Sep 2017 16:07

Not adding anything to the discussion and cheering the banning of a member that, whilst acerbic, brought a lot of knowledge to the forums.

Does it not count when you are the one making an offensive and [***] useless reply?

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By mabzden
to stepurhan
22nd Sep 2017 18:39

To be fair, I find PNL vaguely amusing and generally harmless. A bit like a gentleman tramp.

There are other members I would be more glad to see the back of.... mentioning no names... Stepurhan....

Thanks (6)
to mabzden
22nd Sep 2017 17:10

So you are a complete hypocrite then.

Good to have it confirmed, though hardly surprising given your posting history.

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22nd Sep 2017 15:49

"Respected" is probably pushing it but apparently technically competent, which is rare.

I'd add (8) doing nothing to prevent or delete non-accountant/freeloader accounts.

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By Mr_awol
to Accountant A
22nd Sep 2017 16:33

Accountant A wrote:

"Respected" is probably pushing it but apparently technically competent, which is rare.

I'd add (8) doing nothing to prevent or delete non-accountant/freeloader accounts.

To be fair, I'd say respected by most, feared by some and loved by few. When all is said and done though, the site will be a lot poorer without him/her/it.

Thanks (5)
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By kaff
to Mr_awol
22nd Sep 2017 20:10

I'd concur with that assessment. I hope the ban is temporary?

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22nd Sep 2017 15:51

they asked that we give it time - we have and there is little or no improvement on the first 5-6 weeks.

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to justsotax
22nd Sep 2017 15:54

"on the first 5-6 weeks"

I must have missed this request?

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to Chris Mann
22nd Sep 2017 16:20

when it was originally changed and everyone moaned for a number of weeks, and as a result they suggested that once some tweaks were made everything would be hunky dory....

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22nd Sep 2017 16:00

PNL may have a unique ability to cut to the bone in just a few words, but this tends to be only when the rest of us are probably thinking similar, anyway.

And for the technical queries and debates, there are few (though there are a couple) capable of holding their own with an opposing view.

And I suspect the more acerbic comments that have appeared with increasing frequency of late are a direct consequence of the very abuses of the anonymous function, and it's use in asking questions that, frankly, do not belong on a professionals forum.

I'd rather see PNL abuse of those posters and the equally entertaining technical arguments that I would the anonymous posts in the first place.

Thanks (7)
22nd Sep 2017 16:03

What did she do this time?

There are only a very few competent technical contributors to the forum, which after all is the main draw.

If you are holding yourself out as a tax professional and asking questions of a first year junior then you deserve a kicking quite frankly.

Thanks (5)
22nd Sep 2017 16:04

That could have read "Portia has been banned! On a completely unrelated note, I want to use this opportunity to say I have issues with this site".

Why is Portia getting banned a call to arms? Unless Portia is the AW equivalent of General Lamarque?

This site in undeniably poor of late, but we all visit it voluntarily.

#Edit#
Wait, are some of you being forced to come here? Blink twice if you are here under duress!

Thanks (4)
By mrme89
to Constantly Confused
22nd Sep 2017 16:09

But my point was that Sift can take action against a member, but ignore all the faults with the site - such as allowing spammers to continue posting, despite a report being made.

There are few reliable members on the site. Perhaps Sift are using this as a ploy to dumb the site down further?

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22nd Sep 2017 16:06

Out of interest, how do you know that PNL has been banned? He is bonkers, but I've grown to love him.

Just to add a modestly controversial complaint - the discretionery allowance by Sift of multiple accounts to favoured members, while banning others for the same offence.

I did raise this directly with Sift but received no acknowledgement.

As I've said many times, it is naive to think that Sift cares about its 'members' ( a misnomer). It is an advertising medium. The stats are the only important thing which are used to convert to cash. Mild controversy is, therefore, a good thing. Get people talking but without being too offensive.

Thanks (1)
By Ruddles
to andy.partridge
22nd Sep 2017 16:18

andy.partridge wrote:
Out of interest, how do you know that PNL has been banned?

Try accessing his profile page :¬)

BTW - I hope the OP (and all others contributing to this thread) are aware of the disdain shown by the moderators to discussions about banned members! Ever decreasing circles ...

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to andy.partridge
22nd Sep 2017 16:21

"As I've said many times, it is naive to think that Sift cares about its 'members' "

Very true they don't give a FU.CK about the ordinary members. Far rather focus on the revenue received from those providers of [***]e sponsored articles.

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By mrme89
to Kent accountant
22nd Sep 2017 16:22

Incidentally, Gary Turner was full of praise about the new site. Where is he nowadays?

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By mabzden
to mrme89
22nd Sep 2017 18:07

Maybe he's busy running a large company.

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By mrme89
to mabzden
22nd Sep 2017 18:13

It didn’t hinder him before.

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By mabzden
to andy.partridge
22nd Sep 2017 18:33

The last time I saw Gary Turner in the Any Answers section he was being given so much abuse that he said "Don't feed the trolls. Disengaging, actual work to do".

So yet another happy Aweb user.

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to mabzden
23rd Sep 2017 10:34

Why are you telling me about Gary Turner? I didn't mention him.

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22nd Sep 2017 16:07

I posted a reply to a post today (first for a very long time) and have now received an email regarding a post I made 2 years ago on a different subject.

What on earth is that all about

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22nd Sep 2017 16:20

Since John's admission before Xmas that the site was pants, have Sift said any more about it? As far as I know there's not been a single update since then. Even the so-called regular updates by Ben Smith (hopefully I've recalled his name correctly after all this time) stopped at the same time.
The feeling I get is that Sift have decided that the site does everything they want it to do so no need for any more spending on it.

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22nd Sep 2017 16:25

I wonder is it the AWEB team who are coming on here as Anonymous in order to boost the stats....wouldn't surprise me and would explain the non existent accounting/tax technical knowledge.

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By Mr_awol
22nd Sep 2017 16:31

I blame that dotard who was whingeing about cutting replies recently (feature request thread).

They should be tamed with fire (perhaps that is what PNL was banned for) and the great PNL re-instated immediately.

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By Ruddles
to Mr_awol
22nd Sep 2017 17:06

Mr_awol wrote:
I blame that dotard ...

I think you've been listening to too many comments from Pyongyang. Did you mean "[***]"?

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By Ruddles
to Ruddles
22nd Sep 2017 17:08

To explain the "***" it seems that I would not be allowed to advise anyone how to adjust the timing on an old car - the opposite of "advance" being "***ard"

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By Mr_awol
to Ruddles
25th Sep 2017 09:14

Ruddles wrote:

Mr_awol wrote: I blame that dotard ...

I think you've been listening to too many comments from Pyongyang.

Hence the suggestion to tame him with fire.

Your suggestion works for me too though, BTW.

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By DJKL
22nd Sep 2017 16:31

Dear Sift

"The quality of mercy is not strain'd,
It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven
Upon the place beneath: it is twice blest:"

What do we want,
The Porcine One
When do we want her/him/it
Now

Will now return to my Friday job (great to now work part time), applying magnolia emulsion to walls (and myself)

DJKL

Thanks (2)
22nd Sep 2017 17:04

Thanks for the post mrme89.

I'm not going to comment on individual member statuses.

All constructive feedback is looked at and gratefully received, and all of the issues you raise are being worked on in some shape or form. We’re aware that we haven’t been the best at communicating this, but as we don’t have concrete timelines we don’t want to make promises we can’t keep.

To address a couple of the points:

1) It’s not against community rules to use the anonymous function. Whether it’s abused is a judgment call, but if you think it is then hit the report button.

We are aware this is a longstanding issue for members and have put forward a case for this to be removed. In the meantime, if someone asks a question you don't like, don't respond.

4) Thank you for reporting the spammer. My apologies one of us didn’t get back to you, that’s obviously not acceptable.

7) We’ve recently been trying to weed the spammers out of the blog section. Anyone now joining the site has to request blogger rights, but we still have a number of ‘sleeper accounts’ that we’re dealing with on an ‘as and when’ basis. The blog you mention is our attempt to provide new members with a round-up of bloggers to look out for. If that’s not doing its job then we’ll have to review it.

Thanks to everyone for continuing to contribute and feed back on the site. When we have progress to report we will let you know.

Have a nice weekend,

Tom

Thanks (3)
to TomHerbert
22nd Sep 2017 17:18

There is a simple solution you know, reinstate the old site

Jokey picture not visible

Mouse gone

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By Viciuno
to TomHerbert
22nd Sep 2017 20:37

TomHerbert wrote:

7) We’ve recently been trying to weed the spammers out of the blog section. Anyone now joining the site has to request blogger rights, but we still have a number of ‘sleeper accounts’ that we’re dealing with on an ‘as and when’ basis. The blog you mention is our attempt to provide new members with a round-up of bloggers to look out for. If that’s not doing its job then we’ll have to review it.

Tom

You used to be able to "sub" to a specific bloggers blogs and were notified when they posted something new.

Now that is not an option. You can only sub to a specific blog and get notified when someone comments on something you have already read.

I now have to troll through all the "sign up to this" or "1 millions thing you are doing wrong with your practice" blogs to get to the interesting ones.

Not only that but I often find I miss a blog or two and find them weeks later because the actual blog page is not exactly user friendly and does little to promote the blogs that are worth reading.

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By mabzden
to TomHerbert
23rd Sep 2017 09:55

TomHerbert wrote:

It’s not against community rules to use the anonymous function... We are aware this is a longstanding issue for members.

Just out of interest, why is different to post anonymously rather than using a made-up (dare I say it, anonymised) username such as mrme89, Mr _awol or Accountant A?

This seems to be another case of moaning before engaging the brain.

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to mabzden
23rd Sep 2017 10:16

mabzden wrote:
Just out of interest, why is different to post anonymously rather than using a made-up (dare I say it, anonymised) username such as mrme89, Mr _awol or Accountant A?

The anonymous function hides what account it is associated with. Questions posted as anonymous also do not appear in that accounts profile.

So someone can post a bunch of questions, each on its own looking like a single simple issue to resolve. If posted under an account name, other users can see they are asking a lot of basic questions, and they therefore need an adviser. Posted anonymously, they can appear to be queries from a bunch of different users. A shameless freeloader therefore repeatedly uses anonymous in bad faith to stretch out the amount of free advice they can get.

The function has also been used for abuse. Someone presenting a nice face to the forums can use anonymous to post abuse without it tarnishing the public persona they've created. This was a greater problem when follow-up posts could also be anonymous, but it is still an issue now.

So, to my mind, the anonymous function serves no useful purpose. If a query is so confidential that it requires posting anonymously, you probably shouldn't be posting it on a public forum in the first place. Meanwhile the abuses I mentioned above go on.

Thanks (3)
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By mabzden
to stepurhan
24th Sep 2017 21:03

@stepurhan

Pretty much all users on this site choose names that mask their identity. Dave Smith at Clacton Accountants could call himself DaveSmith or ClactonAccountants. But typically we choose something ridiculous that can't be traced back to us, like mr&mrs89, and all our posts are anonymous.

So for "stepurhan", "Mr_awol" or "Accountant A" to moan about other users posting anonymously doesn't make much sense.

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to mabzden
23rd Sep 2017 16:41

Pardon me for intruding.

I don't think you understand the difference between being anonymous and having a pseudonym.

Literary taste aside, maybe you think Barbara Vine and Robert Galbraith are anonymous trolls abusing the rules of publishing?

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to mabzden
25th Sep 2017 08:56

mabzden wrote:

@stepurhan

Pretty much all users on this site choose names that mask their identity. Dave Smith at Clacton Accountants could call himself DaveSmith or ClactonAccountants. But typically we choose something ridiculous that can't be traced back to us, like mr&mrs89, and all our posts are anonymous.

So for "stepurhan", "Mr_awol" or "Accountant A" to moan about other users posting anonymously doesn't make much sense.


Did you actually read my response? Because it made it pretty clear what was the difference between the anonymity of a pseudonym and the anonymous function. It also made it pretty clear how that function can be abused in a way a simple pseudonym can't.

So either you are being wilfully stupid, or deliberately malicious. Possibly both.

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By mabzden
to stepurhan
25th Sep 2017 09:22

stepurhan wrote:

Did you actually read my response?

I did read it. I just thought your argument was very weak.

So you're basically saying that the anonymous function hides the account of the anonymous user posting the comment. So what?

A few Aweb users seem to be neurotic about everyone else abusing the site, in particular the dreaded "freeloaders" who (apparently) spend all day posting questions rather than hiring an accountant. This neurosis is used to excuse their own belligerent, rude and sometime offensive behaviour.

It sounds like PNL has overstepped the mark and, if so, I'm glad he/she/it has been kicked off.

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to mabzden
25th Sep 2017 10:55

mabzden wrote:

I did read it. I just thought your argument was very weak.


You asked what the difference was I told you.

But you didn't really want to know did you. You just wanted to have another pop at people you don't like. Because it gives you an excuse to be rude and abusive, whilst claiming to decry such behaviour.

Still, you don't appear to be putting a strong argument FOR keeping anonymous either (quite the opposite in fact). Also Tom Herbert acknowledged it is a long-standing issue for members, which is something the site should care about. I presume you'd be fine with the feature being removed then. If not, perhaps you could explain why.

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By Mr_awol
to mabzden
25th Sep 2017 10:09

mabzden wrote:

@stepurhan

Pretty much all users on this site choose names that mask their identity. Dave Smith at Clacton Accountants could call himself DaveSmith or ClactonAccountants. But typically we choose something ridiculous that can't be traced back to us, like mr&mrs89, and all our posts are anonymous.

So for "stepurhan", "Mr_awol" or "Accountant A" to moan about other users posting anonymously doesn't make much sense.

I'm not convinced I have moaned about users posting anonymously actually - you might find an example or two if you are sad enough to stalk through my entire posting history, but certainly not enough to justify my inclusion on your list.

But then again I doubt your list is even intended to represent those who moan about anonymity. It reads a little more like a list of users who have upset you by disagreeing with you or by mocking your whining in previous threads. If you had your way, you would have been able to delete all our replies as 'unhelpful' and would probably have done so.

As for the use of a pseudonym as opposed to anonymity, it's been explained to you twice now so I doubt you are ever going to get it, but there is a difference.

I don't need to know that David Winch* is his real name to know that his user account will always provide excellent AML advice. I don't need to know who or what PNL is to know that their user account will provide reliable advice on a technical level, interspersed with expletives and/or sarcasm. As such, use of a pseudonym is very different to an anonymous posting - but then you knew that anyway. You're just trying to score a few points because we collectively shot down your ridiculous suggestion about deleting replies to your posts if they hurt your feelings.

* Sorry David, second time ive dragged your name into something that has nothing to do with you - but when I try to think of a user who might post a sensible, helpful, accurate reply (often backed up with links or explanation) you are the first person who springs to mind!

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By mabzden
to Mr_awol
25th Sep 2017 13:15

Hmm, maybe it's time to get over the whole "how dare you suggest deleting comments that are abusive or complete cr*p" thing. The protests about that idea came from a small and predictable list of Aweb names.

And I'm sorry if I'm still unconvinced after it has been "explained to you twice", presumably by one of the grown ups, that asking a question as "Anonymous" is completely different from using a made up and anonymised username such as Mr_awol.

So maybe we just need to agree to disagree whether this makes a scrap of difference and is worth whinging about in perpetuity.

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to mabzden
25th Sep 2017 11:46

mabzden wrote:

So maybe we just need to agree to disagree whether this makes a scrap of difference to anything and is worth whinging about in perpetuity.

But, for those that object to it, it does make a difference. We therefore cannot "agree to disagree" on the basis you suggest. This is yet another passive-aggressive response belittling others.

The anonymous function is actively disliked by a number of members. Unless you have a strong argument for retaining it, then it is academic whether you agree with them or not. A function that is disliked by many but no-one feels strongly about keeping should be removed.

So, apart from you personally disliking some of those calling for its removal, do you have an argument for keeping it?

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By mabzden
to stepurhan
25th Sep 2017 12:35

stepurhan wrote:

A function that is disliked by many but no-one feels strongly about keeping should be removed.

Is it disliked by many? Or is it moaned about by 20 or 30 heavy users who think they own the site?

I couldn't really give a monkey's whether the anonymous feature stays or goes. But I would say that Aweb should poll the entire readership base and ask their views before removing it.

They shouldn't just listen to a small number of serial moaners.

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By mrme89
to mabzden
25th Sep 2017 12:51

mabzden wrote:

stepurhan wrote:

A function that is disliked by many but no-one feels strongly about keeping should be removed.

Is it disliked by many? Or is it moaned about by 20 or 30 heavy users who think they own the site?

I couldn't really give a monkey's whether the anonymous feature stays or goes. But I would say that Aweb should poll the entire readership base and ask their views before removing it.

They shouldn't just listen to a small number of serial moaners.

I don’t believe that anyone thinks that they own the site.

There are, however, a number of users that spend a huge amount of time helping fellow accountants, and it is them that makes Any Answers what it is. I think it is unfair to dismiss these users as ‘serial moaners’ – which again, is hypocritical given your latest question.

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By mabzden
to mrme89
25th Sep 2017 13:16

Oh dear, it's the "how dare you suggest deleting comments that are abusive or complete cr*p" thing again...

Anyway, I would say the input of some frequent users doesn't add anything to the site. It pushes people away who could make valuable contributions - see my Gary Turner comment above.

Aweb seem to agree. If users were measured on quantity, rather than quality, then PNL would still be here.

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By mrme89
to mabzden
25th Sep 2017 14:13

mabzden wrote:

Oh dear, it's the "how dare you suggest deleting comments that are abusive or complete cr*p" thing again...

Anyway, I would say the input of some frequent users doesn't add anything to the site. It pushes people away who could make valuable contributions - see my Gary Turner comment above.

Aweb seem to agree. If users were measured on quantity, rather than quality, then PNL would still be here.

You're being dismissive, rather trying to discuss the issue.

If I remember rightly, Gary was questioned over Xero's atrocious payroll software (it might have improved since then, however) and spat his dummy out.

If your opinion is that Portia does not add quality, you are a bigger fool than you already appear to be.

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