DupsYesterday, Former EAv CEO, Duleepa Wijayawardhana, aka (e)Dups, posted a message in the Empire Avenue Leaders discussion group, putting those who violate the EAv Terms of Service on notice.

He wrote, “Over my tenure as CEO, I was very lenient on many people… I have come to realize, looking back, that perhaps I was too lenient.”

He continued to single out 3 specific violates that would result in banning the offender.

The specific violations and the pitfalls… 

Dups specifically singled out these 3 offenses:

  • We, as a company and as a product, will not tolerate personal attacks against individuals.
  • We will no longer tolerate those who spread malicious rumours about Empire Avenue.
  • We will not tolerate sexism, ageism, hatred, harassment of any sort. You will be banned.

The message has received dozens of comments, the overwhelming majority of which seem to be supportive of Dups message and the stricter enforcement of the terms of service.  I too applaud Dups for making the statement and am supportive of the move, however…

Stricter enforcement is not without it’s potential problems

The biggest concern I have is that personal attacks, malicious rumors, hatred and harassment are often a matter of perception.  Yes, there will always be blatant examples that everyone agrees are over the line, but often one person’s “criticism” is another person’s “personal attack,” one person’s “analysis” or “speculation” is another person’s “malicious rumor.”

Here are 5 specific concerns:

1) Empire Avenue has also not always been very responsive to support questions.  When some people have gotten frustrated with the lack of response from EAv, they have resorted to public venting of that frustration.  Could this potentially be perceived as a “personal attack” or “harassment” and result in banning?

2) It is obvious to anyone who been paying attention to Empire Avenue letting go most of their paid staff and efforts to raise money through the EAv Leaders, that financially speaking EAv has had a rough go of it lately.  Additionally, EAv is not forthcoming about their financial status or future plans.  That’s their right as a private company.  However, it is reasonable that people would question EAv’s viability before investing money in EAvs or premium accounts.  Could these questions be perceived as “malicious rumor” and result in banning?

Dups wrote, “Support will take a zero tolerance rule.”  So, my next set of concerns are over due process…

3) What’s the internal process for banning a user?  Who is involved in the decision?  Considering the skeleton crew that is running EAv now, it would be unfortunate if one support person in a bad mood got ticked off and unilaterally banned someone.

4) If someone is banned will they be notified of specific reason for the ban?

5) If someone is banned is there any sort of appeals process?

I’ve seen at last one incident in the past where a person publicly complained that they had not received services paid for and had not received a response from EAv.  I don’t know if they were telling the truth or not, because EAv does not publicly respond to complaints like this.  So, it leaves a dark cloud over both EAv and the individual.

What do you think?

  • Do you like EAv stepping up their enforcement of TOS abuse?
  • Do you share any of the concerns cited above?