A note from the author:
Care2 has reinstated my membership, but that does not negate the fact that some changes are necessary. This practice affects every single member of Care2 -- and just as it happened to me, without warning, could equally apply to you. I urge you to ask for review and change, and to circulate this among your friends. It's only fair.
Most importantly, we need a clear-cut, written procedure for member disputes, investigation of same, and resolutions that are fair to all parties involved. Also, there needs to be a definition of suspension, including notice, duration (number of days), remedies, and length of time the infraction remains on your membership record. This should be posted as part of the Terms of Service, distributed to all members, and judiciously administered.
As things stand now, and I have experienced first-hand and have witnessed increasingly happening to others, any member is basically a "sitting duck" for another member (and their comrades) to set them up for suspension. The "flagging" utility, in particular, is over-used as a tool by malicious people; and in cases where those people can do so anonymously, they are not required to provide a good reason and are unaccountable for their actions. In addition to examining the alleged violation, some scrutiny needs to be made of habitual "flaggers."
I have also heard that Care2 has a "three strikes" policy -- which means that, if you are suspended three times, you are automatically banned. Why is that not told to members? (In particular, it is prejudicial because there is no "hearing" prior to suspension. Therefore, you could actually be innocently suspended three times, but still be banned.)
It is ridiculous that an activist site has unfair, unclear (and in some cases, secret) procedures, which are whimsically applied. We have all seen how dictatorial and heavy-handed they are when faced with criticism, as well as their nonchalant attitude toward help requests -- and yet, nothing concrete has been done by the members to push them to the wall.
Care2 needs a reminder that their members are not "disposable" and it is not a "free" site. They use the number of members to attract new sponsors. Their widely-advertised "over 7 million members" figure is inflated by including groups such as Amnesty International, Annie's Healthy Living, AFL-CIO, etc. -- who may visit Care2 -- but only to check in on activities of that particular group, as well as multiple and/or inactive profiles which it behooves them not to delete. Further, members who "click to donate" generate income.
Thanks for your support.
*C* (aka "Just Carole")
9/14: DAILY REQUESTS FOR PROOF
(and no response) = 5 (no requests til Monday now)
(9/13/07 - Today, I did, however, get a casual inquiry on a help request from a month ago (which had already been taken care of) for fixing an access problem -- I couldn't get in to produce a signature report -- on a petition I authored (with over 600 signatures), requesting the judge to withhold bond on an alleged multiple child rapist, which needed to be delivered to court by 8/15/07)
(9/16/07) - In fairness, I will report that I did hear from Customer Service yesterday. They still will not (or cannot) give me an example of my "disruption of the News Network." Plus, they refer to suspensions as "time outs" (although I am not a child, and this remains on my membership record.) Further, others have responded with similar correspondence received after suspension, such as: "Your account access was suspended for a violation of our code of conduct. I'm unable to locate the abuse type at this time to give you more information." (Nuff said)
PLEASE SEE THE FOLLOWING PETITION:
SUSPENSION OF MEMBER PRIVILEGES WITHOUT NOTIFICATION OF CAUSE
I, am one of an ever-growing number of members (charter or otherwise), who have been advised that my membership privileges were suspended based on unsubstantiated evidence from another hostile member.
My notice stated no allegations, nor provided any avenue of recourse. As one of the few charter (paying) members using the site, I feel I am entitled to an explanation as to why the services I assumed I had a right to use were interrruped, and if rescinded, was offered no opportunity to protest the charges.
Care2 made NO ATTEMPT TO CONDUCT A FAIR INVESTIGATION.
My service was, with only a few minutes notice before the end of normal business hours for Care2 (5pm PT), suspended, after NO questioning, no offer of response -- and no inspection of the charges.
This is not the first such instance. Previously, I was threatened with suspension for publishing an article through their News Network, and noted by several members, begging the site to take curative measures to stop the incessant trolling and stalking. In answer, my news story was removed and I was informed that, although I didn't name any specific member, my membership could basically be denied "at will."
Since that time, there have been SEVERAL occasions where other members have done basically the same, but were not admonished. Care2 has CLEARLY acted with prejudice in my case. (I have retained copies of all articles in question, as well as all notifications from Care2.)
As an activist site, I find this behavior unconscienable. My behavior with the majority of other members has been exemplary (and can be attested to through tributes, commendations, letters, etc.)
I am referring this matter to the ACLU, FCC and Amnesty International (a major contributor to the site.) In addition, I am utilizing all available outlets to advertise this proceeding.
I am inviting former members also unjustly suspended (of which there are many), as well as members reinstated after also having been suspended or terminated with bias -- as well as current members who agree that this is unprofessional and grossly unfair.
IF YOU AGREE THAT THIS TYPE OF BEHAVIOR IS ABHORRANT FROM A SITE PROFESSING TO BE PRO HUMAN RIGHTS, PLEASE SIGN HERE.