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Is advertising allowed in a geocacher's profile?


SB_Dave

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1 minute ago, SB_Dave said:

I randomly ran across a profile that blatantly advertises their business.  

How do I discretely (anonymously) tell them or report them?

Are they a legit geocacher? Is there anything offensive about the advertisement? Then I would mind my own business. 

 

You can contact Groundspeak but it is not anonymous. You can click on the help center at the bottom of each page. 

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The entire profile is extolling their skills at their profession and then lists the address and name of their business.  There is nothing related to geocaching in the profile.

 

Thanks for the responses.  

 

I will move on and go about my day.

 

Thanks.

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6 hours ago, Rock Chalk said:

A user's profile page is permitted to contain commercial content, so long as there is nothing about the content that violates the site's Terms of Use (family friendly, etc.)

 

Wow!!! This is ridiculous in my opinion, especially if not geocaching related and approved.

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I think there's nothing that can/should be done unless it breaks the TOU agreement; ie, basically abuse of the system or spam. If it qualifies as either of those, it could possibly be handled. Otherwise if it's a real person, there's no requirement for the profile content to have anything explicitly geocaching related. But if it's a spambot, it should definitely be retired...

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I guess that's one way to write off your PM as a business marketing expense!

 

If a geocacher uses their profile to promote their business I wonder if they're also dropping business cards in caches as swag.

 

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Posted (edited)
12 hours ago, Team Canary said:

Wow!!! This is ridiculous in my opinion, especially if not geocaching related and approved.

 

I would like to hear why it is ridiculous? Would you like to be a voluntary profile reviewer? Reading profiles all days and explaining users how to change the profile to meet your guidelines. If you are not willing to do this job, can you recommend somebody else for this voluntary job?

Edited by arisoft
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There's a lot of coin manufacturers, a few caching supplies sites, and those who have apps to find caches. Some are in our forums.

A few have been with this hobby for some time...   If they're adding a benefit to the hobby, Groundspeak is probably already aware.

A local CO with awesome, unique areas for caches uses his company's stationary for log sheets.  

 - Maybe I should ask him how many people used his services by writing their Found It name/date on a piece of paper.  I'd bet none...

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10 hours ago, arisoft said:

 

I would like to hear why it is ridiculous? Would you like to be a voluntary profile reviewer? Reading profiles all days and explaining users how to change the profile to meet your guidelines. If you are not willing to do this job, can you recommend somebody else for this voluntary job?

 

SO you think people should be able to promote their business? That's what I called ridiculous. It should be against the guidelines and be report by people who find offence, like we do with logs that container swearing, spoilers, etc.

 

I never suggested Groundspeak review every profile. But I could recommend you do it? You seem to have inferred things in my post that aren't there.

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Really, this is a matter between one business - potentially a very small one - and another, the one that hosts this website.  If Groundspeak is okay with it, why should the rest of us be offended?

 

I figure, this planet is full of people who are trying hard to make a living. Billions. Call it a business, call it a hustle, but they're trying to offer something you might find useful, so they can put food on the table.  Not everyone is an employee with a comfortable salary.

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4 hours ago, Team Canary said:

SO you think people should be able to promote their business?

 

I believe in free speech. Promotion of business is not a regulated matter anywhere where free speech is a norm.

 

4 hours ago, Team Canary said:

It should be against the guidelines and be report by people who find offence

 

Why it should be against guidelines and why it should be reported. You must have some kind of agenda here. Please, explain reasoning behind these demands.

 

Every cache page has ads. Should we report them too?

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1 hour ago, arisoft said:

Why it should be against guidelines and why it should be reported. You must have some kind of agenda here. Please, explain reasoning behind these demands.

 

Because it is cheap and nasty to do your business advertising for free on someone else's website. 

 

I wouldn't allow it on my site without charging for it, but Groundspeak make their rules for their business.

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1 hour ago, arisoft said:

Why it should be against guidelines and why it should be reported. You must have some kind of agenda here. Please, explain reasoning behind these demands.

 

Every cache page has ads. Should we report them too?

 

Try putting your own ads on your cache pages, though, and see how far you get. The Guidelines are quite strong in banning the slightest hint of commercial content or an agenda on cache pages or anything linked from a cache page, yet the profile page is open slather. Consistency anyone?

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1 hour ago, Team Canary said:

Because it is cheap and nasty to do your business advertising for free on someone else's website. 

 

In my opinion, profile pages full of self-praise could also be banned for the same reason. If you think about it more carefully, profile pages could be banned completely, because they do not add any value to the hobby. Anyway, Only Terms of Use regulates the content of the profile despite of how cheap or nasty it is.

 

1 hour ago, Team Canary said:

I wouldn't allow it on my site without charging for it, but Groundspeak make their rules for their business.

 

Definitely like this. Everyone only decides their own affairs.

 

1 hour ago, barefootjeff said:

Try putting your own ads on your cache pages, though, and see how far you get.

 

This is reviewed content. Reviewers has done a good job by removing even the slighest trace of commercial activity, sometimes even a little too far. There is a consistent reason behind this guideline. This is a part of goals for eliminating creating of new caches by wrong reasons.

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Free speech only applies to the government. Businesses have almost total free reign to censor you.

 

Ads on this website are with the permission of and benefit of Groundspeak. There are ad-blockers that make them disappear. Not so a user profile as ad.

 

4 hours ago, arisoft said:

In my opinion, profile pages full of self-praise could also be banned for the same reason. If you think about it more carefully, profile pages could be banned completely, because they do not add any value to the hobby.

 

Profile pages are a way to learn about other geocachers.

 

I've never seen a profile "full of self-praise" unless you mean more extensive statistics. 

 

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1 hour ago, JL_HSTRE said:

Free speech only applies to the government. Businesses have almost total free reign to censor you.

 

You are right and I definitely meant that the government does not regulate ads in geocaching and neither should any player.

 

1 hour ago, JL_HSTRE said:

Profile pages are a way to learn about other geocachers.

 

Some of them may have business. Great way of learn about what they do.

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8 minutes ago, arisoft said:

Some of them may have business. Great way of learn about what they do.

 

Best not to mix unrelated business and hobbies. If someone has a grudge against you related to geocaching now they have incentive to bash your business. 

 

This is how it's usually done (and should be done) on social media. You have a personal profile and your business has a seperate page. You might list your business in the About Me part of your profile, but if you're constantly advertising your for-profit business on your personal profile I will unfriend you.

 

Personally, anyone who turns their geocaching profile into a big advertisement automatically loses my business. Even if not banned by Groundspeak it's inappropriate.

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Posted (edited)
10 hours ago, Team Canary said:

Because it is cheap and nasty to do your business advertising for free on someone else's website. 

 

I wouldn't allow it on my site without charging for it, but Groundspeak make their rules for their business.

 

I see two sentences that are self-refuting. Groundspeak makes the rules for their business. Just as you would. Both are just fine. We are not required to adore the decisions any business makes. That's why we 'vote with our dollar'. But honestly, I don't care if some user promotes something on their profile which I'll never be forced to look at. But if they sell on the listing of a cache that I want to find, then yeah, I'll be 'forced' to look at it. Big difference.

 

25 minutes ago, JL_HSTRE said:

Best not to mix unrelated business and hobbies.

Sure, but it's an opinion, subjective.

 

What it comes down to is if Groundspeak chooses to allow profile pages to contain commercial/promo content - it's their website, their choice. We users are more than welcome to voice our concerns if they exist, and they are free to make a more informed decision on the matter afterwards.

 

 

Another difference between cache pages and profiles is that the intent of viewing a cache page, publicly published, is to learn about a geocache and find it. Viewing the listing is necessary in order to accomplish that goal. Viewing a profile page's custom content is never a fundamental requirement for this activity.  As for puzzles, while you're allowed to be required to gather information from a profile page to solve a puzzle, I would bet that many reviewers may not allow a puzzle cache requiring gathering information from a commercially-splattered profile page, since it'd effectively be the same as including it in the listing which is disallowed, and it may seem like the CO is attempting promote or sell via the cache listing puzzle. But IANAR.

 

Intent of a geocache listing: Find a geocache (not promote your stuff) - the goal of geocaching.

Intent of a profile listing: Learn about a user (a user may like to promote stuff) - not essential for geocaching.

This is a distinction HQ has decided to allow.

 

Now, I might also wager that if it seems a user is practically running a website off their profile content and making a profit from sales, HQ would absolutely step in and respond in the context of the TOU and abusing the system.  I'm sure that would be a clause they would jump on if it seemed it was costing them to 'host' to the profit of a user, without an agreement like running ads on through the website.

 

 

One might not like it if someone promotes product on their profile page, but it's a style of content HQ has deemed acceptable, and there'd definitely be a limit to that freedom.

Edited by thebruce0
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17 hours ago, arisoft said:

 

In my opinion, profile pages full of self-praise could also be banned for the same reason. If you think about it more carefully, profile pages could be banned completely, because they do not add any value to the hobby. Anyway, Only Terms of Use regulates the content of the profile despite of how cheap or nasty it is.

 

 

Definitely like this. Everyone only decides their own affairs.

 

So why are you arguing about my opinion. Disagree, but don't tell me mine isn't valid.

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As for using caches for advertising purposes this is what information I seem to have remembered. I had an ideas to place several traditional or one series of caches, with all requirements met, to be an attempt to recruit members for our local clubs of an International Service organization. I was informed, or at least understood, that the caches themselves could not this the organization name or be advertising in nature in the description. But in the cache container there could be info the finder could read and get interested and seek more information about the organization. 


For instance I could not use the organization name in the cache title or description, the cache takes precedence and any info for the organization recruitment is secondary, no requirement  to do anything but sign the log-- all else is up to the finder. 

 

I ended up with one two stage multi cache , and actually did not included anything in the container due to size and type of log container, Any reference to the organization is on a mailbox type structure which has on the front data that is used to determine the second stage coordinates-- maybe forty feet away but hidden in a slightly devious way. I would like a series but there are few open spots for such caches in the considered area. 

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On 5/16/2024 at 8:32 AM, Jayeffel said:

I was informed, or at least understood, that the caches themselves could not this the organization name or be advertising in nature in the description. But in the cache container there could be info the finder could read and get interested and seek more information about the organization.

 

Groundspeak has negligble control over the contents of a geocache, especially since every visitor has a defacto opportunity to leave swag.

 

That said, many cachers will remove inappropriate swag during their journeys. Not only food or harmful items, but also political or religious propaganda. They may even go so far as to remove business cards and non-geocaching commercial advertising (flyers or pamphlets).

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