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Business names in listings

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Hello Ontario,

 

As many of you probably just saw, there was a large disabling of caches in the Golden Horseshoe area due to the presence of business names. This was a result of an email complaint from another player who shall remain nameless, that was declined their listing for promotional/commercial reasons. Instead of accepting it and moving along they decided that collectively the reviewers were acting unfairly and inconsistently and as such decided they should report other issues. Since it has always been the position that guideline issues should be raised when discovered, adequate action was taken.

 

So, moving forward please do not include the names of businesses within listings. Not in the title, not in the text, not in the FTF prize or trade item lists.

 

PLEASE do not take this to mean that we want to be receiving list upon list of other caches with business names in them. If you are aware of some and feel they are unjust, I would suggest you write privately to the Cache Owner and suggest they voluntarily edit their own cache pages. Reviewer have better things to do, like publish new caches for people to enjoy, than having to police such minor items that the community can resolve internally themselves.

 

Thanks

 

:cool: CD

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So, moving forward please do not include the names of businesses within listings. Not in the title, not in the text, not in the FTF prize or trade item lists.

Is there an exception for events or do we have to resort to "Meeting place is the coffee shop named after the hockey player"?

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So, moving forward please do not include the names of businesses within listings. Not in the title, not in the text, not in the FTF prize or trade item lists.

Is there an exception for events or do we have to resort to "Meeting place is the coffee shop named after the hockey player"?

 

Jo Jo Starbuck was a figure skater. I can find no reference to her ever being a hockey player. :)

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So, moving forward please do not include the names of businesses within listings. Not in the title, not in the text, not in the FTF prize or trade item lists.

Is there an exception for events or do we have to resort to "Meeting place is the coffee shop named after the hockey player"?

 

Fair question...

 

Events are allowed to have the name of the venue and address stated once, only once, within the description. It may not be in the title. This is how it has always been, to the best of my understanding.

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well as some of you may, or may not know we were at the Best of the Bad Mega Event (WestCan1)and i saw the email notifications about some of my caches being disabled just little an hour before the ``meet the reviewers`` questions and answers, where Jeremy was present

Not knowing any of the details in this thread, just purely speculating of the reasons, and because of my past experiences with the commercial guidelines i had my question ready for Jeremy, i specifically asked why would a cache be disabled due to being commercial for the simple fact that it mentions a FTF gift from some establishment....and he clearly stated that simply mentioning the name of the business nearby doesn't fall within the commercial guidelines ....so i have to raise the question...where is this change coming from, who has decided that i can't include a business name in my cache listing, because Groundspeak certainly hasn't done so?

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Here is the link to the Knowledgebooks on the subject

 

Where is says

 

Solicitation and Commercial Content

 

Geocaches do not solicit for any purpose. Geocaches perceived to be posted for religious, political, charitable or social agendas are not permitted. Geocaching is intended to be a light and enjoyable family-friendly hobby, not a platform for an agenda.

Commercial caches are disallowed. As a general rule, reviewers will not publish cache pages that seem commercial. A commercial cache has one or more of the following characteristics:

It requires the finder to go inside a business, interact with employees and/or purchase a product or service.

It has overtones of advertising, marketing or promotion.

It contains links to businesses, commercial advertisers, charities, political agendas or social agendas.

It contains the logo of a business or organization, including non-profit organizations.

The name of a business or commercial product is on the cache page.

On very rare occasions, Groundspeak makes an exception for a commercial cache. Arrangements are made before placement. If your cache is commercial in any way, please contact Groundspeak for clarification about how to comply with cache listing guidelines.

 

That IS from Groundspeak, they wrote these documents for geocachers to adhere to. So Groundspeak would be the people that decided it, regardless of what you may have been told at some event in a setting where a question and answer period existed regardless of the position of the person that replied. (yes yes, I know.. bold statement on my part considering who said it)

 

When it comes to FTF prizes... there are two things of note:

1... "The FTF prize is a $x coupon" is far better than "The FTF prize is a $x coupon for {business name}". There is no need to include the business name. Period.

2... After FTF, the prize is... GONE... so why does this info have to remain on the cache page? Rhetorical, we all know it doesn't.

 

So instead of debating the semantics of this, isn't it much easier to just remove the unnecessary business name from the listing and focus on the geocaching aspect? I think we all would agree that nothing is lost in the listing by removing a specific business name and making it generic instead.

 

:cool: CD

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The name of a business or commercial product is on the cache page.

 

:cool: CD

 

i guess Jeremy is not quite familiar with the Guidelines or he doesn't agree with that point

Edited by t4e

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The name of a business or commercial product is on the cache page.

 

:cool: CD

 

i guess Jeremy is not quite familiar with the Guidelines or he doesn't agree with that point

 

Um..... the Guidelines are written down and easily referred to by the reviewers, players and site owners...

Don't suppose you've got a recording of Jeremy disagreeing with the Guidelines handy .... that would give Cachedrone something more actionable than "he said/she said" (and perhaps some ammo for Failblog)

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I too have been a victim of this witch hunt. Some person "remaining nameless" has slapped on a badge and is not reporting all violations of this rule. That's fine and dandy but maybe GC could see through this obvious childish ploy and stick to the phrase, "as we move forward" instead of messing around with caches that are over 4 years old.

 

"On the cache page " refers to the listing but not to the logs? So I can mention all kinds of company names in my logs?

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Here is the link to the Knowledgebooks on the subject

 

Where is says

 

Solicitation and Commercial Content

 

Geocaches do not solicit for any purpose. Geocaches perceived to be posted for religious, political, charitable or social agendas are not permitted. Geocaching is intended to be a light and enjoyable family-friendly hobby, not a platform for an agenda.

Commercial caches are disallowed. As a general rule, reviewers will not publish cache pages that seem commercial. A commercial cache has one or more of the following characteristics:

It requires the finder to go inside a business, interact with employees and/or purchase a product or service.

It has overtones of advertising, marketing or promotion.

It contains links to businesses, commercial advertisers, charities, political agendas or social agendas.

It contains the logo of a business or organization, including non-profit organizations.

The name of a business or commercial product is on the cache page.

On very rare occasions, Groundspeak makes an exception for a commercial cache. Arrangements are made before placement. If your cache is commercial in any way, please contact Groundspeak for clarification about how to comply with cache listing guidelines.

 

That IS from Groundspeak, they wrote these documents for geocachers to adhere to. So Groundspeak would be the people that decided it, regardless of what you may have been told at some event in a setting where a question and answer period existed regardless of the position of the person that replied. (yes yes, I know.. bold statement on my part considering who said it)

 

When it comes to FTF prizes... there are two things of note:

1... "The FTF prize is a $x coupon" is far better than "The FTF prize is a $x coupon for {business name}". There is no need to include the business name. Period.

2... After FTF, the prize is... GONE... so why does this info have to remain on the cache page? Rhetorical, we all know it doesn't.

 

So instead of debating the semantics of this, isn't it much easier to just remove the unnecessary business name from the listing and focus on the geocaching aspect? I think we all would agree that nothing is lost in the listing by removing a specific business name and making it generic instead.

 

:cool: CD

 

There's something about this i just don't agree with, the fact that it uses the word "seem commercial" and then list characteristics one of which alone shouldn't lead to something "seeming commercial" (something to consider re-looking at what you consider to be something seeming to be commercial). A mention of a name of a place like behind the X building and not the Y building or park by the Z company all of which can make a difference or help in the search. It seems a bit too over policing, having the name to help find something should be OK, but any mention of come to our Y business or Friday has specials with X, or even a coupon with Z etc. those i would agree would be deemed something that "seems commercial". It shouldn't factor it commercial just because of a mentioning of the name but rather the context in which it uses that name. You don't know for certain if something is lost in the removing of a specific business name, all i ask is that you consider the context that the name is to be used and not just dismiss it for having a name already used. Heck it even mentions that "on very rare occasions, Groundspeak makes an exception for a commercial cache." This could mean they could just be nice and let the odd name slide if in the context it's innocent. Hows that sound?.

Edited by jeffd5

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I would like to know why disabling of the caches was required. Wouldn't an email to the owner as the poster of this thread has suggested be more appropriate? This event reminds me of the mass disabling a few years ago over an event which resulted in the disabling of caches because of business names if memory serves me correctly. Simply saying a cache has a Tim Horton's gift card in it as a FTF prize is no more of a solicitation then placing the card in there in the first place other than the audience is smaller. Let's be honest here, the guideline is to prevent solicitation for commercial purposes. This makes sense as Groundspeak is a businesses and doesn't want to give out any free rides. There are plenty of companies that pay for advertising on the site and they would not appreciate others getting the add space for free. People also have to understand that it is a guideline and not a rule. The difference is that guidelines are open to interpretation. This means using the spirit of the guideline and not the letter.

 

I can name almost 50 caches that have a business name in the title of the cache, the same business in fact, and they seem to be un-affected. I am sure the reviewers are well aware of these caches and yet they remain. Please don't take this as a queue to start disabling more cache as I am not complaining that they are alowed to exist nor do I wish to see them disabled and or archived. I simply present this as an example where the spirit of the guidelines has been used instead of using one line in the guidelines to justify the disabling of many caches.

 

The guidelines do not allow an event for the sole purpose of a group cache hunt. I can accept that, yet I have seen an event allowed to exist where it was made clear by the person hosting the event that the event was for the sole purpose of finding specific caches placed by a group of cachers. I chose not to complain about it nor will I be using it a justification to host my own organized cache hunt. Just an example of how the guidelines have been interpreted around the single line that would have prevented the event.

Edited by Keith Watson

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Simply saying a cache has a Tim Horton's gift card in it as a FTF prize is no more of a solicitation then placing the card in there in the first place other than the audience is smaller.

 

Yup, I'm in the same mindset with this one.

The title thing I sorta get though.

 

As for the organized cache hunt thing, that's a whole other discussion. There are definitely grey areas and local interpretations when it comes to the guidelines.

I'm also in the mind set that an email warning / reviewer's note with a timeout would be a little less grating than a mass disabling ... particularly when it comes to something as silly as adding/removing text to a web page. Why write off a batch of caches just before a weekend that are perfectly findable over semantics. Give the CO a week or so to act then disable if needed IMHO.

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I really wanted to reply to this thread, but am struggling with not going full steam into a rant.

 

I fully agree, and appreciate the effords of keeping the commercial side of things out of sight. For the most part, I can not see a reason to name businesses in normal cache titles and or descriptions.

I do however believe that it would be nice to be able to mention charaties or local social events that may be involved, or associated with a GC event.

This should however, be at the discression of the reviewers as some charaties and events are very commercial based.

 

I do however believe the regulation of events should be more evenly governed.

Our local reviewers have been very strict with posted events (most cases justified), where other regions have bent the rules.

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Simply saying a cache has a Tim Horton's gift card in it as a FTF prize is no more of a solicitation then placing the card in there in the first place other than the audience is smaller.

 

Yup, I'm in the same mindset with this one.

The title thing I sorta get though.

 

As for the organized cache hunt thing, that's a whole other discussion. There are definitely grey areas and local interpretations when it comes to the guidelines.

I'm also in the mind set that an email warning / reviewer's note with a timeout would be a little less grating than a mass disabling ... particularly when it comes to something as silly as adding/removing text to a web page. Why write off a batch of caches just before a weekend that are perfectly findable over semantics. Give the CO a week or so to act then disable if needed IMHO.

 

Definately agree with this post. I think the orgainized hunt thing should be better outlined.

I'd like to see caches (registered and non) for an event be OKed, but events specifically geared towards gathering a group of cachers to find specific caches be discouraged.

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This thread has the makings of some sort of "Nothing Fight", the kind where you argue with your significant other over whether the toilet seat should be left up or down after being used, and I'm not really sure what the goal of debating the merits of the OP are.

 

Help me out here: The OP has requested that no commercial content in the form of business names be included when submitting your cache for listing. How, exactly, does omitting this unnecessary article from your cache page in any way affect your enjoyment of the game?

 

I'm just not seeing how anyone could argue that having Tim Horton's, WalMart, Starbucks or any other business name is imperative in the context of their physical placement. The folks who are enjoying this game have a GPS which will get them to the area they need to be in simply by following the arrow, and without the need for business landmarks to guide them.

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Here is a question for CacheDrone that is very on topic of this thread. Would FaceBook be considered a business or commercial product? If so, would mentioning it and providing a link to it be considered a no no?

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Here is a question for CacheDrone that is very on topic of this thread. Would FaceBook be considered a business or commercial product? If so, would mentioning it and providing a link to it be considered a no no?

 

Oh dear. That could detonate a few caching organizations in place.... But yeah that sure sounds commercial or at minimum an "agenda". (AKA "come join our group" agenda)

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I recently submitted a cache that had the name of a close-by business in the description. I was asked to remove it. A reason for the removal was given. I thought, I'm not really promoting the place, but the cache is more important to me than the description, so let's play by the rules and delete the name of the business. That didn't hurt one bit.

 

But I thought to myself, hmmm self, there's nobody here with an agenda of their own. We are all of the same mindset. Nobody I know would abuse a listing to further a personal commercial, political or social agenda. We are all fair people. Why should it matter?

 

I see some bonehead sockpuppet scumbag has posted TODAY to the Back roads maps topic in the Canada forum a useless and nonsensical bit of spam.

 

So that's why there's rules and guidelines.

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Here is a question for CacheDrone that is very on topic of this thread. Would FaceBook be considered a business or commercial product? If so, would mentioning it and providing a link to it be considered a no no?

 

Oh dear. That could detonate a few caching organizations in place.... But yeah that sure sounds commercial or at minimum an "agenda". (AKA "come join our group" agenda)

 

I hate to answer a question with another question, but is there any reason that either one of the above examples (Facebook or, as an example, OGA) is required to be a part of the cache listing text of a physical placement? In other words: Is there not another way to get your point across in the description of your cache?

 

Folks, I recognize that you're looking for clarification to a guideline that's recently been re-enforced, but I think if a person absolutely felt it imperative to include social networking sites as part of their cache listing, that person may wish to reconsider the execution of their cache LOL.

 

At the end of the day, I have a funny feeling that the solution to all this discussion might be something close to "If you think it might be commercial, or have any doubt as to whether it may be commercial, try using different verbiage".

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Folks this is the same individual that everybody loves in New Brunswick.

Down here in this beautiful province we still scratch our heads why our reviewers for the Maritime province live in Ontario but thats a different story...

 

All this is humbug... Look at this listing: http://coord.info/GC3072F

 

So big fuss about the name of the restaurant in the title for an event that has existed since 2006 Lets look at the description shall we?

The name of the restaurant is named twice despite the observant reviewer saying that it can be named only once.

And then we have a picture of pancakes, Im pretty sure theres something commercial about it (this goes back to picture of the empty pizza pan story on another thread).

Then we have a picture of the restaurant (Nothing commercial about it) and the cherry (oops, sorry some red juicy fruit) on top of the mix of flour and sugar and eggs a picture and link of the blue letter F.

 

And we are supposed to take this seriously?

Bah humbug.

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Folks this is the same individual that everybody loves in New Brunswick.

Down here in this beautiful province we still scratch our heads why our reviewers for the Maritime province live in Ontario but thats a different story...

 

All this is humbug... Look at this listing: http://coord.info/GC3072F

 

So big fuss about the name of the restaurant in the title for an event that has existed since 2006 Lets look at the description shall we?

The name of the restaurant is named twice despite the observant reviewer saying that it can be named only once.

And then we have a picture of pancakes, Im pretty sure theres something commercial about it (this goes back to picture of the empty pizza pan story on another thread).

Then we have a picture of the restaurant (Nothing commercial about it) and the cherry (oops, sorry some red juicy fruit) on top of the mix of flour and sugar and eggs a picture and link of the blue letter F.

 

And we are supposed to take this seriously?

Bah humbug.

 

The assumption that the listing now conforms simply because it has been enabled by the cache owner would be silly.

 

It might also be silly (might I be so bold as to say) to pop into a forum topic started by the VR who disabled it in the first place to sprout off about a particular listing (a link to which you've so kindly provided to make it easier to find) that got wrapped up in this issue in some sort of passive aggressive attack on... the VRs??

 

If your intention was to bring further scrutiny on this listing, well, congrats. It seems like a rather foolish way to let sleeping dogs lie, but I guess it's just easier to kick the dogs rather than throw them a bone.

 

:drama:

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The name of a business or commercial product is on the cache page.

 

:cool: CD

 

i guess Jeremy is not quite familiar with the Guidelines or he doesn't agree with that point

 

Um..... the Guidelines are written down and easily referred to by the reviewers, players and site owners...

Don't suppose you've got a recording of Jeremy disagreeing with the Guidelines handy .... that would give Cachedrone something more actionable than "he said/she said" (and perhaps some ammo for Failblog)

 

funny you should say that because i contemplated recording the whole session, however i had no permission to do so...so in this case either you call me a liar or you just believe me, i'm sure CacheDrone can always ask...but once i get home i will write an email to Jeremy

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This thread has the makings of some sort of "Nothing Fight", the kind where you argue with your significant other over whether the toilet seat should be left up or down after being used, and I'm not really sure what the goal of debating the merits of the OP are.

 

Help me out here: The OP has requested that no commercial content in the form of business names be included when submitting your cache for listing. How, exactly, does omitting this unnecessary article from your cache page in any way affect your enjoyment of the game?

 

I'm just not seeing how anyone could argue that having Tim Horton's, WalMart, Starbucks or any other business name is imperative in the context of their physical placement. The folks who are enjoying this game have a GPS which will get them to the area they need to be in simply by following the arrow, and without the need for business landmarks to guide them.

 

has nothing to do with enjoyment or not...personally i don't care that much in the grand scheme of things, however i find this guideline rather silly and childish....telling on my cache page that i am offering a coupon to Tim Hortons or any other store is by no stretch of the imagination commercial, those are casually mentioned...if someone were to go in a whole tirade about the said business i can see how it can be viewed as commercial

 

while the Guidelines are quite clear and make sense to a certain extent my complaint to Jeremy was that perhaps the reviewers do not have a clear concept of what is commercial and what is not, and except for this time when the note was to the point, usually those messages come in a very standard reply with all the links to guidelines, c&p standard message without a clear indication of what is against the guidelines and should be removed

i have no desire to waste my time writing emails back and forth trying to resolve the situation, and neither should the reviewers, given that they are so busy with other things...messages should clearly spell out what should be removed from the listing to be in compliance with the guidelines

also having reviewers deal with the issues the same way across the board will make the guidelines more powerful

 

back to the original subject, i say it again, a simple name of a business that is nearby is totally harmless and the restriction is not affecting my enjoyment of geocaching but is seriously making me feel censored

 

as for the person that complained and is the cause of all this, why haven't they been directed to submit their cache to Groundspeak instead of wasting time disabling a whole bunch of random caches?

Edited by t4e

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I'm a quiet guy. I stick to the background and keep my head down, but this is ridiculous.

 

The intent of the rule is obviously for physical geocaches, not Events. To read into it deeper then that is silly.

 

You're baring the people hosting an event from listing where the event is? Seriously? It's being used as a descriptor, not a advertising plug. No copyright lawyer on the planet, even a US one, would try to sue you for that.

 

Also, since all major cities are incorporated, and run as a business, does this mean I'm not allowed to mention the city in the listing?

 

Since all major parks are also commercial entities, and as such, businesses, does this mean I'm not allowed to mention the park name in my listing? Fair is fair, and commercial is commercial!

 

Does this mean, that since tupperware IS a BRAND NAME, unaffiliated with Groundspeak, that I cannot say that my cache is in a TupperWare container?

 

Also, what if I make my username HondaCivic am I allowed to log caches? as that my name will now appear as a plug to Honda.

 

Does this apply to all businesses or just the ones Groundspeak has partnered with? I don't see you having a problem if I call my Cache "lets take my JEEP to go pick up my EXPEDIA tickets"

 

 

Seriously? How deep you wanna go with this? This is dumb, the names of businesses are being used fairly as descriptors, NOT for promotional reasons, this falls under fair-use from a copyright perspective.

Edited by Dragoon

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The assumption that the listing now conforms simply because it has been enabled by the cache owner would be silly.

 

If it doesnt conform then why was it approved then?

If we are going to be fussy about details then it has to go all the way.

 

It might also be silly (might I be so bold as to say) to pop into a forum topic started by the VR who disabled it in the first place to sprout off about a particular listing (a link to which you've so kindly provided to make it easier to find) that got wrapped up in this issue in some sort of passive aggressive attack on... the VRs??

 

It was just to give a perspective of what owners are going thru with this particular individual.

There never has been so much trouble getting caches published since he/she came around.

One has to ask the question, which reviewer has no clue of what they are doing, the previous one that had no issues publishing caches or this one that refuses caches because of details.

They both can't be right now can they?

 

I see its just not the folks in the Maritime provinces that are having issues with the reviewer but the Ontario folks as well. I think its only fair to show both sides on the coin. The owners are not the bad guys in this story.

 

If your intention was to bring further scrutiny on this listing, well, congrats. It seems like a rather foolish way to let sleeping dogs lie, but I guess it's just easier to kick the dogs rather than throw them a bone. :drama:

 

When we have someone sitting on a chair deciding for us what is appropriate when I/we have all the work preparing, scouting, making materials, making arrangements, going to locations, placing caches just to get it refused for silly things then yes I think we have the right to 'kick the dogs' and rightfully so.

Edited by ZeMartelo

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It is pretty clear that some people in this thread would rather list the names of businesses in their listing, often for no reason what-so-ever. As some have wisely said, the addition of a business name adds nothing to the listing except to raise awareness of its existence (not saying promote, just calling attention to it)

 

It is also obvious that some people have missed the points of

} A complaint was received that reviewers were being unfair and inconsistent {gee, what a shock. Like we haven't heard that before}

} A demand was made to act based on documented guidelines and requirements

 

So yeah, here's the thing... for a long time we have said "Meh, it's not a big deal to have a business listed as a reference point or that a specific gift card is there. We'll just let it go."

 

{sarcasm mode}

BUT NOOOOOOOO, that's not good enough for some people. No, the reviewers are supposed to be robots, automatons, mindless tools that are 100% consistent with the letter of the law. We are so mean and terrible, destroyers of fun and go out of our way to find problems.

{/sarcasm mode}

 

Over the last month or so there have been so many complaints that sound similar to this

Why are you declining my cache that wants to promote this business when {list ad naseum} is allowed to do it.

 

And now, even in this thread there are comments of "There are plenty of listing with names in them or the title and the reviewers are doing nothing about those ones."... are you kidding me? I already said we don't want to spend our time going back over stuff, or getting piles of lists of other listings...

 

So there you have it... players have complained about inconsistent reviewing and have been going on the attack on existing caches because they feel they were wronged. And why exactly does the listing have to say "The FTF prize is a $5 Tim Horton's Gift Card" when it could just say "The FTF prize is a $5 Gift Card"? Is the cache somehow better because some restaurant's gift card is mentioned? How about "The cache is hidden in the parking lot of the Wal-Mart"? Really, I thought this game was played by putting coordinates into a GPS and following the arrow.

 

So to be clear

} The guidelines and knowledgebook clearly state that business names shouldn't be in listings

} Having one does nothing with respect to finding a cache, or experiencing it.

 

It does not matter that "But it's always been this way, and it was fine." because that text should never have been there. I doubt any of us want to waste our time on such stuff, and I gotta be honest and say that people arguing for the inclusion of business names are only showing that they want to promote them.

 

Groundspeak provides a cache listing service with the expectation that cache pages will be about the cache, with perhaps a bit of information about the history or features of the location.

 

:cool: CD

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Then my question still stands.

 

Since Cities, Parks, States, and Provinces are all at some level a business, and have copyrights on their names, the same as any retail business. Shouldn't this rule at its core, block the ability to name any Corporate Entity?

 

Also, Tupperware is a business, am I now disallowed to reference that?

 

The rule is vague, but taken in its current format, no reference to a business at all, is allowed.. period. Allowing it once for identification is your interpretation of the rules. While I appreciate that, its not the rule. The rule says 0 reference to the business.

 

Instead of blocking all reference to a business because of an existing rule that can be interpreted in a dozen different ways, why not add a delimiter to that rule to make it more precise.

 

It all comes down to interpretation of the rules, by the person hiding the cache and the person reviewing it.

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That doesn't negate the fact that there is also inconsistency within and among reviewers. This past week a series of caches were placed in this area where the word "smurf" appeared in the title, yet two years ago I was denied calling a cache "Dora!" and "Crayola Crayon" because they were, in the eyes of the reviewer, "too commercial".

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According to the rules:

 

Solicitation and Commercial Content

 

Geocaches do not solicit for any purpose. Geocaches perceived to be posted for religious, political, charitable or social agendas are not permitted. Geocaching is intended to be a light and enjoyable family-friendly hobby, not a platform for an agenda.

Commercial caches are disallowed. As a general rule, reviewers will not publish cache pages that seem commercial. A commercial cache has one or more of the following characteristics:

It requires the finder to go inside a business, interact with employees and/or purchase a product or service.

 

I interpret this as meaning that any breakfast event, coffee event, etc. has and is violating Groundspeak rules as you have to enter the building, talk to someone to figure out where everyone is seating, in order to sign the log book.

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Having one does nothing with respect to finding a cache, or experiencing it.

 

I think a descriptor with a landmark can help with the find. At least in the initial research stage. If I give you this reference (N 43° 38.455 W 079° 23.178) and ask you to follow the arrow you will get to the cache eventually. But if the description said "it's near the CN Tower" or ..."near the Rogers Centre Skydome", you now know the general area. You will schedule your visit around the busy time in that area. Avoid game nights etc. You may or may not decide to get this cache while spending the afternoon at a game or CN Tower, merely mentioning it will aid in "landmarking" the general area. Mentioning the commercial activities in the area is not commercializing the cache. If I say it's in the Wal-Mart parking lot you may wish to aviod the cache during busy times, or at least you have a general idea where the area is. Even the Satellite views on the large maps don't include all business' but they do include some.

 

I agree that one person should not be the troll and cause all this consternation. Pass the complainers to Groundspeak to enforce the rules. I think some have said it's the spirit of the rule not a robotic reviewer that is needed. Now it seems the reviewers are acting as robots.

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You know, all these people complaining about inconsistency or splitting hairs over the use of "Tim Horton's" in a cache description vs "Coffee Shop".

Think about your motivations here ... let's say you are successful with your argument and commercial content guidelines are removed or severely relaxed.

 

Do we /really/ want that sort of thing? If the pendulum is going to swing one way I'd rather not have our caches resemble Clifton Hill thank you very much.

 

I'm also going to take this particular moment to remind y'all that the reviewers are human beings, volunteers and given a bit of latitude to interpret the guidelines. That will mean there are minor inconsistencies between individual reviews. We should be thankful that we have these volunteers and that there is some latitude given to them.

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You know, all these people complaining about inconsistency or splitting hairs over the use of "Tim Horton's" in a cache description vs "Coffee Shop".

Think about your motivations here ... let's say you are successful with your argument and commercial content guidelines are removed or severely relaxed.

 

Do we /really/ want that sort of thing? If the pendulum is going to swing one way I'd rather not have our caches resemble thank you very much.

 

I'm also going to take this particular moment to remind y'all that the reviewers are human beings, volunteers and given a bit of latitude to interpret the guidelines. That will mean there are minor inconsistencies between individual reviews. We should be thankful that we have these volunteers and that there is some latitude given to them.

 

We don't want them relaxed. As it is now, the rules are imprecise, and are open to interpretation. Rules should be clear and concise, and these, are not.

 

If given a rule that states 'you cannot use yellow text in your cache listing', its a precise rule, its dumb, but its precise. If the rule says "you can use most colors in your listing", its imprecise and requires updating.

 

Nobody is attacking the reviewers, but the process they are required to follow is flawed and allows for way too much interpretation.

Edited by Dragoon

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Simply saying a cache has a Tim Horton's gift card in it as a FTF prize is no more of a solicitation then placing the card in there in the first place other than the audience is smaller.

 

This.

 

If Groundspeak or the reviewers wanted to be consistent with this, they'd have to disallow all caches placed anywhere near any businesses. Otherwise, a cacher might just consider grabbing a coffee and a donut after finding that Tim Horton's parking lot LPC.

Edited by dfx

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Since Cities, Parks, States, and Provinces are all at some level a business, and have copyrights on their names, the same as any retail business. Shouldn't this rule at its core, block the ability to name any Corporate Entity?

 

Also, Tupperware is a business, am I now disallowed to reference that?

 

I'm not kidding, these are valid arguable points. They're dumb, but that's the point. Where do we stop? Without clarification of a rule-set, a blanket rule as it is now, is ineffective.

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The problem is the pendulum has already been swinging the wrong direction as the poster of this thread has admitted to. By flexing the rules and allowing things to happen such as organized cache hunts and publishing caches to only go back later and disable them, the OP has created the problem. Hind sight is 20/20. I think going forward the reviewers should stick to one interpretation of the guidelines. For the most part cache placers are at the mercy of the reviewers. We do have the option of going to Groundspeak. Sometimes that works and sometimes it doesn't. Most of the time the results will be animosity toward the reviewers because it is very simple to point out where the guidelines have not been applied consistently. It can be pointed out that a previously published hide can not be used as justification for a new hide. This being said it does not help help when a reviewer admits to "Meh, it's not a big deal to have a business listed as a reference point or that a specific gift card is there. We'll just let it go.".

 

It gets worse when a reviewer posts in the forums that caches were archived because individual complained. Did it have to be pointed out that this was caused by one individual? Did any of the circumstances need to be explained in a public forum? If the reviewer felt compelled to exercise some form of damage control over the disabling of the caches it may have been more appropriate to just say that caches were archived because company names in the listings, refer to the guidelines, and left it at that.

 

We have all been reminded over and over that reviewers are volunteers, and are human, etc. I understand the need to respect their position and situation. I also believe they need to respect the cache placers but delivering a consistent experience when publishing caches so that us placers know where we stand while placing cache and not wondering why others are allowed to do things while listing caches and events when we get that ambiguous email or log telling us our cache has not been approved, disabled, and or archived when we do the same thing.

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Then my question still stands.

 

Since Cities, Parks, States, and Provinces are all at some level a business, and have copyrights on their names, the same as any retail business. Shouldn't this rule at its core, block the ability to name any Corporate Entity?

 

Also, Tupperware is a business, am I now disallowed to reference that?

 

The rule is vague, but taken in its current format, no reference to a business at all, is allowed.. period. Allowing it once for identification is your interpretation of the rules. While I appreciate that, its not the rule. The rule says 0 reference to the business.

 

Instead of blocking all reference to a business because of an existing rule that can be interpreted in a dozen different ways, why not add a delimiter to that rule to make it more precise.

 

It all comes down to interpretation of the rules, by the person hiding the cache and the person reviewing it.

 

I totally agree with that, and to inform CacheDrone that if they want to continue to not allow any names of business whatsoever then that's fine, but to have mass disabling is uncalled for and that ruins the fun. How does that ruin the fun well read my example below..

 

For example I headed out over the weekend and i always leave out disabled cache listings from my GPS because i don't wanna be bothered looking for something that's long lost you know. But my dad leaves in the disabled listings by accident cause he just doesn't know how to work the query's all that much. So we came to one and i said i don't have that on my list but he does and i checked the comments on the listing and found it had a business name in it problem and that irritated me so much i went looking for it anyway and found it... I don't want to miss out on a cache because of some stupid politics, just send the owners a warning note next time.

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Since Cities, Parks, States, and Provinces are all at some level a business, and have copyrights on their names, the same as any retail business. Shouldn't this rule at its core, block the ability to name any Corporate Entity?

 

Also, Tupperware is a business, am I now disallowed to reference that?

 

I'm not kidding, these are valid arguable points. They're dumb, but that's the point. Where do we stop? Without clarification of a rule-set, a blanket rule as it is now, is ineffective.

 

I agree with Dragoon. And what about a themed geocache i ran into tons of those now. For example i plan to have a geocache theme Toy Story, and only toy story items can be traded within this cache? does that mean my great idea is now no longer allowed, all I'm saying is enforcing this rule kills the variety in the sport, and dulls down the caching experience.

Edited by jeffd5

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I am reading posts here by some reviewers, as I have read some “cut and paste” of exchanges between reviewers and cachers in our region. I have also seen more than just “errors or omissions” lately in the reviewing process, and I have also seen geocachers with perhaps a shorter fuse.

 

I will only say this. Although I can agree that sometimes it’s quite good to let out the frustration, when you have a certain power of authority (regardless of the level of that power), and most importantly when you act on the behalf of such an entity as geocaching.com or Groundspeak (even if your work is volunteer work), I strongly belief that you should act/comment/operate in a more diplomatic, civilised and polite way. How does sarcasm help in diffusing a difficult situation or resolving an issue?

 

I am not an offended virgin, but I am now wondering if Groundspeak should review their criteria when recruiting reviewers. Reviewers should be aware of the regulations (and yes, sometimes there can be errors), but most importantly as they deal with a great deal of geocachers (and ultimately with Groundspeak’s bread and butter), they should have at least an ounce of good manners, etiquettes and diplomacy. I am seeing reviewers who may have a tinny bit of difficulty dealing with criticism, and who in the aftermath may use their “authority” in perhaps a not so regular way.

 

I do agree with some elements of what is being debated here and I disagree with some other, and that for either position; but my beef is with the way that ultimately Groundspeak is handling or not handling the situation.

 

I fear that some may take this to a very personal level and then ruin the fun of others by “making them pay" or having the "they will regret!” approach.

 

Perhaps I should post a cut and paste of this in Zor’s thread called: Have the guidelines changed for the listing of events? ..... or perhaps I should just have shut up as I will not longer have any hides approved!

:)

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I don't have a problem with CacheDrone or any other reviewer, I just really think that application of a consistent set of well defined rules will help.

 

Currently they are too open to interpretation, or if followed to the letter, too restrictive.

 

Basically, The rules need to be clarified, and expanded upon to allow everybody to be happy.

 

Precision is key, and right now, due to whatever reason, there is doubt and confusion, which can be fixed by precise, and concise rules that are explicit in their design.

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There is a very good reason why lawyers have so many books. In Law you need to be explicit to the nth degree. Any loopholes you leave, will be exploited.

 

The same thing goes for Geocaching. We have hundreds of thousands of Geocachers, with the rules being over a decade old, they need to evolve and be clarified to allow them to be fair. When there were just a few hundred of us, it was easy to manage, but as the game, and Groundspeak grows, the ability to have a 'general rule' goes the way of the dinosaur. With a population base as wide as what we have, we need clear, precise rules to follow.

 

A unique Interpretation, when you deal with this many varied users, inst a reasonable expectation. There need to be cleared guidelines, this would lower everybody's blood pressure. Quoting a "blanket" or "general" rule, is pointless.

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There is a very good reason why lawyers have so many books. In Law you need to be explicit to the nth degree. Any loopholes you leave, will be exploited.

 

Yes, you're right. They have lots of dusty books with lots of legal speak, the lexicon of which is above the full comprehension of the many users that enjoy this game. We aren't, however, talking about any legalities, but rather an arbitrary line in the sand that says "Here is how far you're allowed to go with the Corporate trade/brand marks. Go any further and you'll be asked to remove it".

 

The same thing goes for Geocaching. We have hundreds of thousands of Geocachers, with the rules being over a decade old, they need to evolve and be clarified to allow them to be fair. When there were just a few hundred of us, it was easy to manage, but as the game, and Groundspeak grows, the ability to have a 'general rule' goes the way of the dinosaur. With a population base as wide as what we have, we need clear, precise rules to follow.

 

In the real world, where the population base is about as wide as it gets, we currently have well-defined rules, defined by those same ladies and gents who read all those law books you mentioned above, and yet we still have people finding loopholes, causing mischief, breaking laws and continuing to get away with it.

 

Just like everyday life, the "rules" of this game aren't black and white, and I'm quite certain nobody wants that in this game. Enjoy the grey. For every shade of grey, there's another way to enjoy this game. And yes, there will always be loopholes and things that are missed.

 

A unique Interpretation, when you deal with this many varied users, inst a reasonable expectation. There need to be cleared guidelines, this would lower everybody's blood pressure. Quoting a "blanket" or "general" rule, is pointless.

 

Speaking of loopholes and the reduction of blood pressure, I suggest donuts. They, too, are a mix of flour, sugar and eggs, and after having one or two, you'll feel right as rain.

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There is a very good reason why lawyers have so many books. In Law you need to be explicit to the nth degree. Any loopholes you leave, will be exploited.

 

Yes, you're right. They have lots of dusty books with lots of legal speak, the lexicon of which is above the full comprehension of the many users that enjoy this game. We aren't, however, talking about any legalities, but rather an arbitrary line in the sand that says "Here is how far you're allowed to go with the Corporate trade/brand marks. Go any further and you'll be asked to remove it".

 

The same thing goes for Geocaching. We have hundreds of thousands of Geocachers, with the rules being over a decade old, they need to evolve and be clarified to allow them to be fair. When there were just a few hundred of us, it was easy to manage, but as the game, and Groundspeak grows, the ability to have a 'general rule' goes the way of the dinosaur. With a population base as wide as what we have, we need clear, precise rules to follow.

 

In the real world, where the population base is about as wide as it gets, we currently have well-defined rules, defined by those same ladies and gents who read all those law books you mentioned above, and yet we still have people finding loopholes, causing mischief, breaking laws and continuing to get away with it.

 

Just like everyday life, the "rules" of this game aren't black and white, and I'm quite certain nobody wants that in this game. Enjoy the grey. For every shade of grey, there's another way to enjoy this game. And yes, there will always be loopholes and things that are missed.

 

 

So your solution would be to go 'well, just hope you get a Reviewer that doesn't mind?'. Thats the other end of the spectrum. I'm not suggesting we draft a 500 page legislation to determine if we can use a business name in our cache listing.

 

I'm suggesting that rather then a flat statement, that is incredibly broad "you cant use a business name", that it have a delimiter added to it to make it more precise. Currently as the rule sits, you are not permitted to have the name in there at all, in any way shape or form.

 

I'd suggest something more along the lines of "You cannot have the name of a business inserted unless it is used in a descriptive or navigational sense", IE, "We're going to be at Red Lobster" would be OK, "Eat at Red Lobster" would NOT be OK.

 

By the current rule-set, the phrases "I suggest Parking at the walmart on X street, as that the trail you're about to hike is circular" or "The cache is hidden in a Tupperware container" are both violations of the Groundspeak TOS.

 

To add clarity to the rule-set, you need to have clearer rules. Otherwise the single rule "Do nothing bad" would simply cover everything.

 

Adding clarity is not a bad thing, its GOOD. Incorporate your Lessons Learned into the new rule-set, make them clearer, and verse all Reviewers on them. That way, if there is any question as to 'can I do this?' all reviewers will be on the same page.

 

At the end of the day, volunteer based position or one of the Paid Employees, Groundspeak is a company, and that company has employees not playing off the same rulebook. The easiest way to address this is to remove some of the fuzzy interpretation and rely on firmly set, and easily readable concise rules.

Edited by Dragoon

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The assumption that the listing now conforms simply because it has been enabled by the cache owner would be silly.

 

If it doesnt conform then why was it approved then?

If we are going to be fussy about details then it has to go all the way.

 

The listing was published on July 15th and then disabled on July 16th. Strangely, the OP of this thread occurred on July 16th also. I'm no Dr. Emmett Brown and I certainly didn't invent the Flux Capacitor, but since time is linear and constantly moves forward, I think this got published before some selfish cacher decided to have a temper tantrum over their listing getting kicked back to them. Once that occurred, the VR felt it necessary to re-enforce the existing guideline.

 

And it doesn't have to be so draconian as to have to go "all the way". Quite frankly, you don't want it to. Imagine having to ask for, obtain and provide explicit permission in the form of a landowner phone call to Groundspeak for every single placement you've ever put out. I'm sure you realize this would be absurd.

 

It might also be silly (might I be so bold as to say) to pop into a forum topic started by the VR who disabled it in the first place to sprout off about a particular listing (a link to which you've so kindly provided to make it easier to find) that got wrapped up in this issue in some sort of passive aggressive attack on... the VRs??

 

It was just to give a perspective of what owners are going thru with this particular individual.

There never has been so much trouble getting caches published since he/she came around.

One has to ask the question, which reviewer has no clue of what they are doing, the previous one that had no issues publishing caches or this one that refuses caches because of details.

They both can't be right now can they?

 

I see its just not the folks in the Maritime provinces that are having issues with the reviewer but the Ontario folks as well. I think its only fair to show both sides on the coin. The owners are not the bad guys in this story.

 

I recognize that regional differences in style of play exist, and on top of that, regional applications of guidelines may also exist. This is because they're simply guidelines, which are things always open to interpretation, as opposed to hard-fast rules which are incapable of being bent.

 

With that said, I actually suggest that "Yes", the VRs both/all can be right. It's an imperfect science that they're tasked with adjudicating, but if you work with them, as opposed to this sort of open forum witch hunting, you'll likely find that the process is as smooth as it always has been.

 

If your intention was to bring further scrutiny on this listing, well, congrats. It seems like a rather foolish way to let sleeping dogs lie, but I guess it's just easier to kick the dogs rather than throw them a bone. :drama:

 

When we have someone sitting on a chair deciding for us what is appropriate when I/we have all the work preparing, scouting, making materials, making arrangements, going to locations, placing caches just to get it refused for silly things then yes I think we have the right to 'kick the dogs' and rightfully so.

 

Your perception of what you're entitled to do or have while using some other person or entity's website and resources is amusing. I submit that you're entitled to nothing but what you are permitted to have through the tools you're given.

 

Who's the person sitting in the chair deciding what is appropriate? From where I sit and from what I've read in this forum, it sounds like it's you. I'm certain you don't appreciate getting kicked around for your best paid efforts let alone those which you volunteer in your spare time for free, so why work against the VRs? In large part, they aren't flat-out denying your listing or immediately referring you to appeals, but rather are asking you, based on the guidelines, to come up with a different way to word your listing so that it may be published on the site. Heck, I bet they even go so far as to suggest wording to get your listing published.

 

Honestly, pointing fault is unnecessary. Neither side is wrong, but both need to move forward positively.

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...By the current rule-set... <snip>

 

To add clarity to the rule-set you need to have clearer rules. Otherwise the single rule "Do nothing bad" would simply cover everything.

 

Adding clarity is not a bad thing, its GOOD. Incorporate your Lessons Learned into the new rule-set... <snip>

 

At the end of the day, volunteer based position or one of the Paid Employees, Groundspeak is a company, and that company has employees not playing off the same rulebook. The easiest way to address this is to remove some of the fuzzy interpretation and rely on firmly set, and easily readable concise rules.

 

What you incessantly want to call (or be called) "Rules" are simply not. Let's work on the notion that they are simply "Guidelines" which are capable of being bent and open to interpretation, whether they remain as is or change going forward. Hopefully we can at least find common ground on this point.

 

So your solution would be to go 'well, just hope you get a Reviewer that doesn't mind?'.

 

Nope. I'm suggesting that you work with the reviewer when it comes to guidelines that are subject to change whether it fits your dogma or not. I'm not sure if it was missed or just conveniently disregarded, but the only reason your event listing was affected was due to some petulant child cacher squawking about the perceived unfairness you received. If that hadn't happened, your listing along with dozens of other ones, go unaffected and you have zero issue with guidelines. Fact is, your reviewer didn't mind, it was one of your peers that sought retribution for something they couldn't have.

 

Speaking of which, I wonder what you would like to see the guidelines say? Maybe if you provided exactly what you'd like the verbiage to state, we could have something tangible to discuss in this thread.

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I'd suggest something more along the lines of "You cannot have the name of a business inserted unless it is used in a descriptive or navigational sense", IE, "We're going to be at Red Lobster" would be OK, "Eat at Red Lobster" would NOT be OK.

 

By the current rule-set, the phrases "I suggest Parking at the walmart on X street, as that the trail you're about to hike is circular" or "The cache is hidden in a Tupperware container" are both violations of the Groundspeak TOS.

 

 

Nope. I'm suggesting that you work with the reviewer when it comes to guidelines that are subject to change whether it fits your dogma or not. I'm not sure if it was missed or just conveniently disregarded, but the only reason your event listing was affected was due to some petulant child cacher squawking about the perceived unfairness you received. If that hadn't happened, your listing along with dozens of other ones, go unaffected and you have zero issue with guidelines. Fact is, your reviewer didn't mind, it was one of your peers that sought retribution for something they couldn't have.

 

Speaking of which, I wonder what you would like to see the guidelines say? Maybe if you provided exactly what you'd like the verbiage to state, we could have something tangible to discuss in this thread.

 

 

... resists urge to say "I'm not sure if it was missed or just conveniently disregarded" ...

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Call them Rules, Guidelines, Testaments, A code, whatever you wish, they are the "insert word here" that geocaching reviewers approve caches by, and no matter who does them, they should follow the same process.

 

To do other, creates a lot of forum traffic of people asking them to abide by their own "guidelines".

 

Each reviewer having their own set is silly, disorganized, and really unprofessional.

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Now that this has turned into a quote war, its in the realm of trolls vs. something that can be taken seriously as a request for a clarification of the Rules.

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... resists urge to say "I'm not sure if it was missed or just conveniently disregarded" ...

 

Heeeeeyyyyyy... you're trying to use my words to virtually slap me around, aren't you?? <_<

 

I did see your suggestion about the well-known seafood restaurant, but I took that to be with regard to event listings, as opposed to physical placements, which is my fault. Other than an argument along the lines of "I've always been able to say the restaurant name before", is there a reason that you couldn't avoid the use of the name altogether under the current guidelines and still get your point across?

 

I think most folks in this forum would agree that you got unjustly wrapped up in this mess, but I just don't see why it matters so much? Why is it imperative to you to have the name of a business in the listing text?

 

I wonder if you would still have raised a fuss looking for change if your listing hadn't been affected?

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