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Forum Owners Break the Trust of Their Users

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Apparently many online forums are owned by a small number of companies, Carbon Media Group being one of the larger entities (scroll down to the bottom of any page and it says the name of the owner or the platform. Apparently Carbon Media Group has been caught taking posts from one forum and cross posting them into another forum under a different user name, other media groups have done this as well.. This is done to increase post counts and advertising revenue. These forum owning media groups (CMG in this case) have admitted to doing this and it is actually a part of their terms of service, that anything you post they own and can use whenever and where ever they want. One of the forums that some members here belong to was recently sold to Carbon Media Group and many of the long time members and moderators were very upset, because some moderators were removed, some quit  and the membership was largely kept in the dark about the sale of the forum, consequently some users left the forum. Here is a magazine article that explains it in further detail. https://www.plagiarismtoday.com/2015/03/26/when-forums-break-their-users-trust/ 

One of the biggest complaints is from people who have documented extensive builds of various intellectual property that  the media company owns once they purchase a forum. After purchase these media groups can sell, move, trade or profit from any intellectual property or images posted and that include along with personal data that can be sold to marketing companies . This is just information that anyone should know, I have no (public) opinion on the matter one way or the other. I will tell you that the people who started and built many of these website forums often claimed that the reason they started their own forums was because of being members of a forum that was bought by one of these media groups  and the ensuing takeover that resulted in a loss of  camaraderie among members.  This is just FYI information, that anyone can get, but many do not know. I think its important to fully understand the implications when you click the box "I agree with the terms of service" because after all very few people ever read these terms. Facebook is no different and it's common practice as is the intellectual property of a individual belongs to a company or government that individual works for. I'm not trying to stir the pot or make anyone mad or unhappy, just information for the masses that questions where the line between ownership and plagiarism is drawn.

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My Old Machine is still independently owned and operated. This is a great reason to support the independent forums, they are not free to operate and at times those companies do inquire about the purchase.... got to admit it’s tempting sometimes....

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1 hour ago, nylyon said:

My Old Machine is still independently owned and operated. This is a great reason to support the independent forums, they are not free to operate and at times those companies do inquire about the purchase.... got to admit it’s tempting sometimes....

I knew My Old Machine was independent and there are a few others. It seems that owning HUNDREDS of forums allows Media Group owners to reap huge  profits from national advertisers, something that can still be done by independent owners. Even though one agrees to the terms of service I see something very wrong in changing the name of a poster and posting their material under a different name in a different forum, this goes way beyond what I believe to be contractional in that you cannot enter into an agreement that forfeits rights of the individual, but maybe so. I know a landlord or employer cannot make stipulations to a contract that removes the rights of an individual and I really do not believe other companies should be able to either, but as we in America have seen, when the media companies band together they control the information.

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I decided to further investigate the above story and found out that while it is essentially true, it does not reflect or tell the entire story of the incident in the cross posting debacle. This type of cross posting is also know as seed posting, it grows threads and thereby site traffic. Carbon Media has said that it fired MANY employees that were involved in seed posting, so it was pervasive in this company and may be in other companies. I have to believe that this type of false site traffic, if discovered, would shed a bad light on the company and if word got back to the advertisers, ad revenue would go down. So I think that media companies that own forums would not permit this to go on if they were made aware. That said, in signing up to these forums owned by Media Groups, you relinquish the rights to any and all images and information posted on the site. I just wanted to bring a little more balance to the story.

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