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Not family friendly?

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Today I've had one of my Earthcaches forcibly archived by a Groundspeak employee for supposedly being not family friendly - with no dialogue whatsoever.

 

The cache was first disabled this morning by my local geoaware for a different reason - a complaint apparently, claiming that it contravened commercial guidelines by requiring people to enter the store.

 

I posted a note confirming that there was no need to enter the store and that the rock floor could be observed by anybody walking past the store and enabled the cache.

 

I also politely reminded the reviewer that the two of us had engaged in extensive dialogue before I ever approached the owner of the shopping mall in question to ensure that the cache would comply fully with commercial guidelines. I closed by apologising to said reviewer that he'd had his time wasted.

 

A few minutes ago the cache was archived - for being not family friendly - which hadn't originally been mentioned.

 

An earthcache that, based on the logs received, has clearly been enjoyed for over two years with no issues whatsoever,  that required a lot of hard work to put together and that brought people in contact with some fantastic, geologically fascinating rocks - gone.

 

The store which seems to be an issue now is owned by an American designer, manufacturer, and marketer of women's lingerie, women's wear and beauty products

 

The company has traded since 1977 and has over 1000 high street outlets in Hungary, United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Italy, France, Spain, Portugal, Austria, Germany, Greece, Switzerland, Ireland, Poland, Serbia, Russia, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Lebanon, Mexico, Chile, Argentina, Colombia, Panamá, Brazil, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Japan, China, South Korea, South Africa, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Israel, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Iran, Taiwan, Thailand, Australia, New Zealand and Singapore.

 

Does this mean that now any geocache which causes a person to walk past a shop selling women's underwear is at risk of being archived?

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That is a little surprising. Especially the "no dialog" part!  What a shame.

 

I've run into a similar issue with a waymark of mine that was censored for not being family friendly. Which I completely disagreed with.

 

Reminds me of a review I recently read of a candy store. A parent was furious that her kids had to walk past a lingerie store to get to the candy store, and posted a bad review online.

Edited by Max and 99
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Just now, Max and 99 said:

That is a little surprising. Especially the "no dialog" part!  What a shame.

 

 

I've run into a similar issue with a waymark of mine that was censored for not being family friendly. Which I completely disagreed with.

 

In what way was yours claimed to be not family friendly?

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I complained about a geocache in the parking lot of a porn store.  I thought it was not family friendly.  I was told that that was acceptable, and in some places fairly common.

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Just now, Harry Dolphin said:

I complained about a geocache in the parking lot of a porn store.  I thought it was not family friendly.  I was told that that was acceptable, and in some places fairly common.

Go figure!

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Odd, we know of a few that were in front of "men's clubs" that had people with kids log them.   :)

But "not family friendly" could simply be a 80' drop off a cliff, or 4+ terrain as well.

A "cache of the week" earlier this year was 5 terrain...

Do earthcaches have to be family friendly?  I couldn't find that in the guidelines.

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2 minutes ago, Max and 99 said:
3 minutes ago, Harry Dolphin said:

I complained about a geocache in the parking lot of a porn store.  I thought it was not family friendly.  I was told that that was acceptable, and in some places fairly common.

Go figure!

 

Rest assured there was nothing pornographic about my Earthcache.

 

The store sells underwear.

 

Most people wear it and aren't, to the best of my knowledge, offended by it.

 

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35 minutes ago, Team Microdot said:

I posted a note confirming that there was no need to enter the store and that the rock floor could be observed by anybody walking past the store and enabled the cache.

Just to be clear, your EarthCache requires finders to look in the window of the "secretive" store to inspect the floor? I can see why some could interpret that as less family friendly than other examples here like being outside in the parking lot.

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2 minutes ago, cerberus1 said:

But "not family friendly" could simply be a 80' drop off a cliff, or 4+ terrain as well.

 

Or any cache with the "no kids" attribute I guess. PC gone mad.

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Just now, The A-Team said:
39 minutes ago, Team Microdot said:

I posted a note confirming that there was no need to enter the store and that the rock floor could be observed by anybody walking past the store and enabled the cache.

Just to be clear, your EarthCache requires finders to look in the window of the "secretive" store to inspect the floor? I can see why some could interpret that as less family friendly than other examples here like being outside in the parking lot.

 

No - not at all.

 

The store has a doorless entrance which must be over twenty feet across.

 

You could turn your head to one side and walk past without stopping and see enough of the rock to answer the one related question.

 

If you had to stop and press your face against the glass and fog it up with your breath that might be different - but that's absolutely not the case.

 

If it was such an awful experience I think the 50 people / groups who've completed the Earthcache during the two years of its existence would have expressed some displeasure. Nobody ever did. In fact most thought it was a giggle.

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It beggars belief that an Earthcache which has been active for over 2 years / has had 52 finders and awarded 20 Favourite Points can be deemed NOT *family friendly*.. just because you need to look at the floor in a lingerie shop!  Heck you could answer the question after walking past with nothing more than a side-ways glance if it bothered you that much.

I can't imagine how many times me and my kids have been shopping for underwear.. doesn't every family?  Are we supposed to leave the kids at home if we are visiting *that kind of shop*? 

It's that kind of mentality that turns something as innocent as a lingerie shop into something less innocent.
 

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2 hours ago, LFC4eva said:

It's that kind of mentality that turns something as innocent as a lingerie shop into something less innocent.

 

It does seem odd.

 

If we were talking about some sleazy, back-street adult shop I would completely understand.

 

But we're talking about what might be considered an up-market shopping mall - especially given the fact they've spent at least tens of thousands and more likely hundreds of thousands of pounds paving the place with granites, marbles, limestones, serpentinites and even a quartzite which by itself can cost thousands of pounds per square metre.

 

The annual footfall in this particular mall is quoted as thirty million. With that number of people passing through every year I would expect that anything considered not family friendly would have been ejected long ago - assuming it had ever been allowed there in the first place.

 

Perhaps if the store in question had changed ownership / been repurposed since the Earthcache was originally published I could appreciate a change in sentiment by the reviewer / the mystery complainant / Groundspeak - but the ownership and purpose of the store were the same when the EC was published two years ago as they are today.

Edited by Team Microdot
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1 hour ago, Harry Dolphin said:

I complained about a geocache in the parking lot of a porn store.  I thought it was not family friendly.  I was told that that was acceptable, and in some places fairly common.

 

Was this recently?

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The email sent to you by HQ didn't give any more explanation than "it isn't family friendly"?

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Just now, The A-Team said:

The email sent to you by HQ didn't give any more explanation than "it isn't family friendly"?

 

Quote

We have archived this cache due to one of the locations within the mall/shopping center. This store is not a family friendly store front and we would like to avoid any conflicts with either the company, its employees, or our community of geocachers. 

Thank you for your understanding. 

 

Note one of the locations - still archived though despite an issue with just one of the locations.

 

I've asked the sender to clarify why, two years after publication, this one location is considered not family friendly.

 

I expect families walk past this same store front on the way to visit the other attractions in the building every day - the 20 screen cinema, the various eateries, the seawater aquarium, the 18 lane ten pin bowling alley, video game arcade, laserquest and the popular plastic building brick attraction aimed at kids age 3 to 10 years.

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  1 hour ago, Harry Dolphin said:

I complained about a geocache in the parking lot of a porn store.  I thought it was not family friendly.  I was told that that was acceptable, and in some places fairly common.

 

Was this recently?

 

No.  Probably eight years ago.

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6 minutes ago, Team Microdot said:
Quote

We have archived this cache due to one of the locations within the mall/shopping center. This store is not a family friendly store front and we would like to avoid any conflicts with either the company, its employees, or our community of geocachers.  

Thank you for your understanding. 

 


I can't imagine what kind of conflicts might occur while completing that particular logging task.. walk past the shop, check the colour of the floor with the slightest of head movements and move on.

The company and employees - I expect - would be more than happy to have as many folk as possible visiting their store.. unless they might complain that the geocaching folk are spending too much time looking at the floor instead of their best lingerie.

If there are geocachers who are uncomfortable about fulfilling that particular task - perhaps it could have been suggested you make it optional - after all, there are 7 more questions to satisfy the logging tasks... or better still, they could just not bother looking for that Earthcache at all.. not ALL cachES are for ALL cachERS.

This store is not a family friendly store front - I'm quite sure that if that were the case they would be expected to have blacked out windows because there must be thousands of families walk past that shop front every single day.  Is there really something distasteful about a plastic model wearing underwear or pyjamas?

The mind boggles.

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34 minutes ago, The A-Team said:

The email sent to you by HQ didn't give any more explanation than "it isn't family friendly"?

 

What's more curious though is the odd way in which issues were raised leading to archival.

 

1. Reviewer disables on basis of commercial guideline contravention

2. CO explains why this EC has never contravened the commercial guidelines and reminds the reviewer that any such issues were openly discussed and addressed between the two of them prior even to requesting 'landowner' permission.

3. The cache is archived by a Groundspeak Lackey, not on the basis of the original 'complaint' but on a new basis of not family friendly.

 

I don't understand why the issue taken with this cache switched part way through the journey to its archival.

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20 minutes ago, LFC4eva said:

The company and employees - I expect - would be more than happy to have as many folk as possible visiting their store

 

In my experience they don't really have time to notice who might be checking out the floor - they are too busy serving customers and there's a constant flow of people passing the front of the huge open entrance in both directions for anybody in particular to stand out.

 

It's also worth remembering the open, friendly attitude to the project by the representative of the company who own the mall and the thought they gave to the experience and any potential impacts.

 

In fact it was they who asked me to make sure that people were fully aware that permission had been granted and that in the unlikely event anyone enquired as to their purpose they should freely disclose that they were geocaching i.e. playing a harmless game - hence the statement on the cache page reflecting that sentiment / request:

 

Quote

PLEASE REMEMBER this EarthCache is on private property with the full knowledge and permission of the property owner so you can feel completely free, if challenged, to explain the full details of the activity you are undertaking so that any and all interested parties can be confident your activities align fully with the safety and security requirements appropriate to a venue of this type. This is one geocache where 'Stealthiness' is absolutely not required.

 

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1 hour ago, Harry Dolphin said:
  1 hour ago, Harry Dolphin said:

I complained about a geocache in the parking lot of a porn store.  I thought it was not family friendly.  I was told that that was acceptable, and in some places fairly common.

 

Was this recently?

 

No.  Probably eight years ago.

Was it this one Harry?

 

https://www.geocaching.com/geocache/GC3K671_pussy-kat-triple-ecks

 

That got a LOT of flack from the local community of geocachers but stayed online until the CO archived it five months after publication because it got muggled.

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10 minutes ago, Michaelcycle said:

Was it this one Harry?

 

https://www.geocaching.com/geocache/GC3K671_pussy-kat-triple-ecks

 

That got a LOT of flack from the local community of geocachers but stayed online until the CO archived it five months after publication because it got muggled.

 

That's a few years back but how things have changed:

 

image.png.85ca1986471d21e540d6d08654db287d.png

 

But now looking at a beautiful rock floor in a high class retail mall is archive-worthy because the store sells underwear?

 

 

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The guidelines require a cache contents to be family-friendly, so I guess putting lingerie in a cache as swag (or even a trackable) might be frowned upon. But they say nothing about cache locations having to be family-friendly, indeed one of the most family-friendly places I can think of, children's playgrounds, are generally discouraged as hiding places.

 

If it were me I'd be lodging an appeal, including the reviewer correspondence at the time of publication and photos of the storefront, ideally including families looking at the merchandise.

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Just now, barefootjeff said:

The guidelines require a cache contents to be family-friendly, so I guess putting lingerie in a cache as swag (or even a trackable) might be frowned upon. But they say nothing about cache locations having to be family-friendly, indeed one of the most family-friendly places I can think of, children's playgrounds, are generally discouraged as hiding places.

 

If it were me I'd be lodging an appeal, including the reviewer correspondence at the time of publication and photos of the storefront, ideally including families looking at the merchandise.

 

Who do I lodge an appeal with when it's Grounspeak themselves who have summarily archived my Earthcache for a completely different reason to that which gave rise to it initially being disabled by the same reviewer who published it?

 

At this point my confidence in the hierarchy is at an all-time low.

 

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2 minutes ago, Team Microdot said:

 

Who do I lodge an appeal with when it's Grounspeak themselves who have summarily archived my Earthcache for a completely different reason to that which gave rise to it initially being disabled by the same reviewer who published it?

 

At this point my confidence in the hierarchy is at an all-time low.

 

 

Link for reference:

 

https://www.geocaching.com/help/

 

Although, from my experience, these sorts of decisions are discussed among the Staff before a decision is made, and to see if there is a consensus.  You'll have to judge if it's worth your time. 

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Send an email to contact@geocaching.com. In the subject bar, note the cache GC number, and that it was archived.

 

In the body, give a concise explanation of what happened. Name the reviewer that published it/archived it. Ask for an explanation, and to have it un-archived.

 

The Reviewers are volunteers. This mail will go to the company.

 

It sounds like this reviewer is one of those poople that think poop-flingers are made of porcelain, and must never be exposed to anything resembling real life. 

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4 hours ago, Team Microdot said:

Today I've had one of my Earthcaches forcibly archived by a Groundspeak employee for supposedly being not family friendly - with no dialogue whatsoever.

I've found that to be fairly typical. The couple times something like this has happened to me, I got the distinct impression they thought I was intentionally trying to get away with something and were studiously trying not to "engage" in whatever argument they thought I was hoping for. So I ended up with no clue what the complaint was.

 

4 minutes ago, Touchstone said:

Although, from my experience, these sorts of decisions are discussed among the Staff before a decision is made, and to see if there is a consensus.  You'll have to judge if it's worth your time. 

If there was really a discussion among staff, they should have the decency to summarize the discussion to the CO. But I agree that since they didn't provide the thinking that led to the decision from the start, they're unlikely to consider the matter open to any further discussion now.

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1 minute ago, Shop99er said:

It sounds like this reviewer is one of those poople that think poop-flingers are made of porcelain, and must never be exposed to anything resembling real life. 

 

Looks like you missed this part in the OP....

 

4 hours ago, Team Microdot said:

Today I've had one of my Earthcaches forcibly archived by a Groundspeak employee

 

Hence, not a Volunteer action in this case.

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It's definitely worth my time.

 

The geology that's on show in those rocks goes way beyond my EC. There's enough interesting material in there to make three more EC's at least - not that I'm planning to.

 

A lot of work went into putting it together and a lot of people have enjoyed it and there's never been a single complaint.

 

And it's clean and wheelchair accessible and provides an ideal environment for a fruitful learning experience and an enjoyable and successful outcome for even novice Earthcachers.

 

To allow it to be hastily consigned to the dump for a questionable issue of unknown origin would be a pointless loss for everyone.

 

The fact the management have produced not one but two geological guides focused on these rocks with the support of the local geological association is a sure sign that they are proud of this aspect of their premises and keen to have people learn from them.

 

Not having an Earthcache be part of that would be a sad and sorry situation.

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9 hours ago, dprovan said:

If there was really a discussion among staff, they should have the decency to summarize the discussion to the CO. But I agree that since they didn't provide the thinking that led to the decision from the start, they're unlikely to consider the matter open to any further discussion now.

 

I'm hopeful that there will be room for discussion and a way back to having this EC unarchived.

 

It was one of my favourites of mine for a number of reasons.

 

I first started to learn about the rocks in the location from a guide produced by the owner in association with a local geological society. There were two editions of the guide and the author of the first edition has since sadly passed away. I had the pleasure of a tour of the location with said geological society in the company of the widow of the original author. The floor which features in my EC hadn't been in place when the first edition of the guide was compiled and the group paused to study the floor and to work out what the rock was. Nobody bothered us, nobody was offended by the products on display - because there was no reason to be. Fred's widow certainly wasn't phased.

 

In a way, to me at least, the Earthcache brought Fred's work to a new audience and I was proud to be even a tiny part of that.

 

Fingers crossed that Groundspeak will be prepared to discuss the matter further and we can come to some agreement which will allow this EC to persist :)

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Just a general note for all EC owner, this here is used only as an example:

 

What colour is the oldest rock?
What colour are the two rocks which include phenocrysts?
What colour is the rock that was formed at the greatest depth?
What colour are the two rocks which are the opposite of HORRID?
Only one of the rocks here might contain fossils of sea creatures - what colour is it?
Describe the rock used for the floor of unit 148 Peel Avenue - colour, texture etc.

 

http://www.colourblindawareness.org/colour-blindness/

 

8 % of all men can answer your questions.  Please take this into consideration when creating your questions.

 

Thanks, Mausebiber

 

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12 minutes ago, Mausebiber said:

 

 

http://www.colourblindawareness.org/colour-blindness/

 

8 % of all men can answer your questions.  Please take this into consideration when creating your questions.

 

Thanks, Mausebiber

 

 

You may have misread the information you're linking to here.

 

If it's correct it means that 92% of all men could answer the questions.

 

Of the remaining 8% who may have difficulty I imagine a tiny fraction are active geocachers.

 

Of that tiny fraction I would hope that the even tinier fraction who might choose to visit my earthcache would be able to take someone along to help them.

 

Edited by Team Microdot
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I've been invited by the employee who archived the EarthCache to submit a request to appeals.

 

Fingers crossed we can reach some understanding that will allow the archival to be reversed 🤞

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5 hours ago, Team Microdot said:

I'm hopeful that there will be room for discussion and a way back to having this EC unarchived.

Oh, my, I do apologize. I was being pessimistic and feeding off Touchstone's lack of hope. It didn't occur to me that my comments might come off as discouraging you from continuing to try. That wasn't my intention. I'm definitely hoping you get this back up because it does sound really cool, and it's obvious that it was archived for no good reason.

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54 minutes ago, Team Microdot said:

I've been invited by the employee who archived the EarthCache to submit a request to appeals.

 

Fingers crossed we can reach some understanding that will allow the archival to be reversed 🤞

 

Yep, fingers crossed.

 

I guess we can all have different opinions on what makes a cache family-UNfriendly, but what disappoints me most here, is that the cache was simply archived without discussion.

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1 hour ago, dprovan said:

Oh, my, I do apologize. I was being pessimistic and feeding off Touchstone's lack of hope. It didn't occur to me that my comments might come off as discouraging you from continuing to try. That wasn't my intention. I'm definitely hoping you get this back up because it does sound really cool, and it's obvious that it was archived for no good reason.

 

No apology needed. I know that pessimism only too well.

 

Thanks for the encouragement :)

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16 minutes ago, IceColdUK said:

 

Yep, fingers crossed.

 

I guess we can all have different opinions on what makes a cache family-UNfriendly, but what disappoints me most here, is that the cache was simply archived without discussion.

 

Thanks for the support :)

 

I was shocked too.

 

I'm inclined though, because of the way things happened, to imagine that there was a breakdown in communication and/or a misunderstanding somewhere along the line.

 

The reviewer disabled the cache on the basis that a complaint had been recieved that it was necessary to enter the store - and that this in turn contravened the commercial guidlines. I expect he forgot the lengthy discussions he and I had to ensure that the cache would fully comply with the commercial guidelines - which it always has.

 

He left me to decide what to do so, as the complaint (at the time) had no basis, I enabled the cache again with a note to the effect that there was no need to enter the store (I expect many here have worked out which cache it was and know this part of the story anyway).

 

Perhaps me re-enabling the cache was seen as some sort of challenge to the powers that be - I don't know - but that's the only reason I can imagine for the lack of engagement preceeding the archival. And I still don't know why the nature of the complaint changed part way throught the process. I'll need to try to address that though and establish the actual nature of the complaint if I'm to understand what might be expected of me in return for (hopefully) getting this cache unarchived.

 

 

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1 hour ago, Team Microdot said:

Appeal submitted. 

 

Fingers crossed 🤞

 

Keep us posted!

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1 minute ago, niraD said:
1 hour ago, Team Microdot said:

Appeal submitted. 

 

Fingers crossed 🤞

 

Keep us posted!

 

Thanks - I will 😊

 

Hopefully it will be good news ✔️

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On 11/9/2018 at 10:52 PM, Team Microdot said:

Today I've had one of my Earthcaches forcibly archived by a Groundspeak employee for supposedly being not family friendly - with no dialogue whatsoever.

Welcome to the club. But as I have been told in a similar situation by the very participants of this forum - it is their website, their rules, their game.

 

But no offence taken, right? You will continue to work for them for no money, regardless of their "gratitude".

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1 hour ago, BillyGee said:

Welcome to the club. But as I have been told in a similar situation by the very participants of this forum - it is their website, their rules, their game.

 

But no offence taken, right? You will continue to work for them for no money, regardless of their "gratitude".

 

As I say - I can only assume that there's been some confusion, a breakdown in communication or even misinformation behind the sudden archival because the cache has never contravened commercial guidelines and nor is the location family unfriendly.

 

Heck, the place even has miniature cars you can push your kids around in as you shop! 🤗

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8 hours ago, Team Microdot said:

 

As I say - I can only assume that there's been some confusion, a breakdown in communication or even misinformation behind the sudden archival because the cache has never contravened commercial guidelines and nor is the location family unfriendly.

Monopolistic arrogance is more likely. But keep dreaming and trampling on your dignity. :-)

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1 hour ago, The Magna Defender said:

Good luck in your appeal. Hope it gets unarchived as I haven't been to it yet and was saving it for a cold winters night. 

 

Thanks Jack.

 

No news yet.

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25 minutes ago, Team Microdot said:

 

Thanks Jack.

 

No news yet.

I wouldn't expect there to be until Tuesday at the earliest.  National Holiday on Monday.

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4 minutes ago, Touchstone said:

I wouldn't expect there to be until Tuesday at the earliest.  National Holiday on Monday.

 

Indeed.

 

I was a bit surprised to get a reply at all from the Lackey who archived it with it being weekend. 

 

 

Edited by Team Microdot

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On 11/9/2018 at 2:52 PM, Team Microdot said:

The cache was first disabled this morning by my local geoaware for a different reason - a complaint apparently, claiming that it contravened commercial guidelines by requiring people to enter the store.

 

I know most of the dialog above relates to the family friendly topic. But I wanted to go back to the original reason why it was disabled. This sure flies in the face of all of those EC's that require a paid fare to get past the security checkpoint at the airport. I've never understood how those are allowed.

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3 hours ago, bflentje said:

 

I know most of the dialog above relates to the family friendly topic. But I wanted to go back to the original reason why it was disabled. This sure flies in the face of all of those EC's that require a paid fare to get past the security checkpoint at the airport. I've never understood how those are allowed.

I know that some allowance is made for non profit locations that require an entrance fee. Hard to call an airport a non profit, but in my area they are usually managed by a port authority which has some government oversight. YMMV. 

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