The new rule makes a very clear statement: Sellers need protection, buyers do not; it's okay to intervene in a sale on behalf of the seller, but not on behalf of a potential buyer. What could be more clear? Buyers are expected to "be adults" and "do their homework", and sellers are beyond reproach. Simple. If you find this unfairly advantageous to sellers, you're welcome to not participate in either the forum, or the larger community. What more could one want from a community of like-minded enthusiasts? Parity? A voice? Don't be naive!
You might be confused by the title "Moderator", which implies impartiality and, well, moderation. That's misleading. It's far more useful to think of the Moderators as the Core Group -- the innermost clique, endowed with powers not extended to cliques lying further out of center. These non-core cliques have the ears of the Core Group depending on their proximity to the center. This new rule indicates the proximity to the center of the most active and frequent sellers, and/or perhaps it's an indication of the political leaning of the Core Group. Those on the Right tend to identify with sellers, while those on the Left tend to identify with buyers.
We can assume this new rule was made in reaction to complaints by sellers, even though it's fairly obvious that no real problem exists, and complaints by those opposed to the rule have far less weight than the complaints of the sellers. The idea that a sale can be "ruined" by a "negative post" assumes potential buyers are incredibly gullible, and rely solely on posts in the For Sale forum of this community to make their buying decisions. Despite this assumed vulnerability, our Core Group has decided it's the sellers who need special protection. If you can help a seller make a sale, it would be mighty neighborly of you to lend a hand, but if you want to help a buyer make an informed decision, keep your lying trap shut, or risk banishment.
None of this is in the least necessary. We are a small community, with a built-in reputation system. If a seller makes too many bad deals, the community will moderate, provided it's not prevented from doing so, and if a member makes too many unfounded posts in support of, or in opposition to For Sale posts, that member's opinion will become marginalized. This new rule hobbles our perfectly adequate reputation system, so that any post in support of a sale must be seen as a mere advertisement, and any post in opposition is either discouraged from being posted at all by the new policy, or self-censored to toothlessness, or removed by the Core Group.
I've only had a few dealings in the For Sale forum, and every one has been a pleasure, but I will not participate in the forum under this new rule. So, how many potential sales has this new rule "ruined"?
I cannot tell you just how well I slept last night knowing that you altruistic, do-gooding, mini-Julian-Assanges are out there protecting me from myself.
And here I was thinking that I had a duty to research before buying on a section of the forum that clearly states "Use of this area is strictly at your own risk", and that I need to have accountability for my own actions.
No, really, thanks to all of you.
(Please note the acidic sarcasm here)
You miss 100% of the shots you never take. -- Wayne Gretzky
A tempest in a tea cup!
Did people actually read the post?!
"...posts should refrain from intruding on the thread by making negative comments about the item or the price being requested..."
Must be an election year...
Well I can only hope the braintrust represented here is called up to regulate the financial industry because surely they understand all of the potential pitfalls and have a shrewd understanding of human nature. Certainly nobody would ever sour another person's sale in the guise of "helping" some poor lost soul, nor would they resort to extracting revenge for some perceived slight made elsewhere. No upstanding fine art photographers would ever operate in their self-interest.... In fact, if this goes well, the community could set the prices and, hopefully, they will never be higher than the buyer's ability to pay.
If you believe you can, or you believe you can't... you're right.
Actually Amazon, eBay, and PayPal overwhelmingly favor the buyer's interests in any dispute. And on those sites nobody is able to comment publicly on the same page as the listing, the only negatives come after the transaction is completed.
In our little ideal Utopia here, and what has been my practice, it is possible to sell items for less than eBay or Amazon because the site does not take a commission. I will gladly pass the ~10% savings to a fellow LFPF member rather than giving it to eBay. So in spite of the imperfect nature of these transactions, this Buy and Sell section is a reliable, reasonable way to save a fair amount on your camera gear.
Why screw it up?
You really missed your calling as a lawyer Jay. Inserting the phrase, "would always" gives you the win. However if we assume that some buyers, especially newbies, may be somewhat naive and some ruses could be fairly sophisticated, then your argument falls apart.And you assume potential buyers are so naive and incapable of independent thought that these ruses would always be taken at face value.
Besides, this forum has been working pretty well and the worst case examples are so few that I still haven't seen anyone refer to an actual occurrence. You're acting like politicians looking to implement solutions to problems that don't exist.
And finally, the dark Reagan-Vadar alliance that clamps their iron-fist upon the free discourse of this site has spoken and we shall submit. Being the villainous Trotskyite traitor to the working class that I am, I'm on the side of might, which always makes right!