Old Wives' Tales
Radio & TV
Toxin du jour
Claim: Someone claiming to be the "Yahoo Community Monitor" is joining discussion groups and mischievously deleting them.
Example: [Collected on the Internet, 2002]
Origins: We don't quite know what to make of this warning, which began appearing in inboxes in mid-November 2002. The scenario it describes is plausible, but we've heard only a few anecdotal reports of any Yahoo! discussion groups deleted by a prankster who joined them claiming to be a "Yahoo Community Monitor":
Pardon the crosspost (and I'm going to post this to several other lists, too, later on), but this is very important. As detailed in the message below, a deranged individual has been using lies to intimidate listowners into granting this person moderator privileges on their lists - and then using those privileges to DELETE the lists.Were a Yahoo! list owner or moderator (Yahoo! Groups terms the person who starts a discussion group its "owner," and "moderators" are persons to whom the owner grants administrative privileges) to bestow moderator status upon an ill-intentioned party, that person could indeed delete the group. Whether someone has really been pulling this off or not, the deeper message of the warning, not to hand over moderator privileges to someone unknown to you, is a valid
Sadly, I have proof that this is not just an "urban legend", because the buffyNcordy list has been deleted, apparently in this manner.
Moderators, please read the attached message and DO NOT grant this person the power to destroy your list.
Yahoo! does not maintain a staff of "community monitors" to supervise suspect groups, and no mention of "community monitors" appears in Yahoo!'s Terms of Service. The curious wording of this message — Yahoo! Groups are "discussion groups" not "communities," and they have "owners" and "moderators" rather than "managers" — indicates that it was probably a warning originally applicable to former MSN Communities (now known as MSN Groups) members and has since been modified to apply to Yahoo! Groups.
Yahoo! Groups' policing policy is that they may remove objectionable groups or ill-behaved users once those issues are brought to their attention, but Yahoo! itself doesn't go looking for them. Moreover, Yahoo! specifically states they do not control the content of the groups they host:
6. MEMBER CONDUCTIn essence, every list member is a "community monitor" in that each of them has the power to report abuse to Yahoo! Groups. Those who take issue with a particular discussion group housed at Yahoo! Groups or who object to a certain listmember's behavior should report the problem using this handy shortcut.
Yahoo does not control the Content posted via the Service and, as such, does not guarantee the accuracy, integrity or quality of such Content.
Barbara "gaited community" Mikkelson
Last updated: 30 October 2007
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