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Show ALL Forums  > Plentyoffish Site/Suggestions/Help  > Blocking Users is being abused      Home login  
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 LotusLand0315
Joined: 4/5/2010
Msg: 1
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Blocking Users is being abusedPage 1 of 2    (1, 2)
I've been talking to several POF users over a while and I found that many are blocking people who message them just because they're not interested in them (after one introductory) message. There was no harassment or abuse at all. They just find it more convenient to block them, primarly because they often have the same person responding to their ad and they "forget" that they replied to them for various reasons including a different pic or profile.

What, if anything is being done to prevent such misuse? I can see this becoming an issue if more and more people are blocking users for no reason at all and then the blocked user eventually loses his/her account as a result.
 justagrlwithacat
Joined: 2/7/2011
Msg: 2
Blocking Users is being abused
Posted: 4/3/2011 11:12:36 AM
who cares if they block people. what harm is it doing, except to the persons ego who wants to message them over and over. I don't understand what the issue is. Anyone can block anyone.
 hoopsnhikes
Joined: 4/16/2010
Msg: 3
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Blocking Users is being abused
Posted: 4/3/2011 2:17:37 PM

I've been talking to several POF users over a while and I found that many are blocking people who message them just because they're not interested in them (after one introductory) message.

You do realize that you have set your profile up to block half the population before they even get a chance to send you any message at all, right? Why have you done this? Because you're not interested in them. No different than the block feature, really.
 bodypro8ra
Joined: 1/24/2011
Msg: 4
Blocking Users is being abused
Posted: 4/3/2011 2:29:23 PM
With the powerful block feature you can make someone disappear with one left click of the mouse. I wish I could have the equivalent in real life. I've asked people to email me. "Do it!" So that I could block them. I mean this was after I had foolishly deleted our sparse correspondence. I wanted to get rid of all trace of them.

The Zen of blocking! Get into it man! I give good block. Pay it forward! One good block deserves another.
 DivineBovine
Joined: 5/13/2005
Msg: 5
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Blocking Users is being abused
Posted: 4/3/2011 3:33:50 PM

There was no harassment or abuse at all.


and you know this.... how? because those being blocked swear it's the case?

i only block for harassment.

and it's none of your business why some use block willy-nilly.
 Holly63
Joined: 2/4/2011
Msg: 6
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Blocking Users is being abused
Posted: 4/3/2011 4:04:55 PM
Below is a long thread regarding same. One of many on this topic, in fact.


http://forums.plentyoffish.com/12236810datingPostpage10.aspx


I don't think POF can do anything about people blocking people for the simple fact they're not interested in them. Its just personal choice.



I can see this becoming an issue if more and more people are blocking users for no reason at all and then the blocked user eventually loses his/her account as a result.


Yes, this has the potential to happen unfortunately. I don't know how many blocks it takes for a user to lose their profile but, yes, this does seem unfair.

Like DB above, I only block for harassment. I'd hate for my own profile to be deleted just because I've politely messaged some people on here.
 motown cowgirl
Joined: 6/30/2010
Msg: 7
Blocking Users is being abused
Posted: 4/3/2011 4:15:14 PM
you have really bizarre notions about what constitutes abuse.
sounds like somebody is being repeatedly blocked and doesn't like it.
you're allowed to block as many people as you want, for any reason you want.
it's none of your business why other people choose to do that.
maybe you're being a P.I.T.A.?
i applaud the blocking mechanism.
i hang up on telemarketers in mid-sentence and then i BLOCK them.
pesky person is pesky.
 *Cowboy*
Joined: 4/28/2006
Msg: 8
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Blocking Users is being abused
Posted: 4/3/2011 4:38:35 PM
Not sure why you imagined that the block user function here was only to be used for harrasment.

It is just to prevent further unwanted contact for ANY reason.

And the only way you would know you were blocked is by continuing to contact people that do not want to communicate with you.

So it sounds like the feature works perfectly.

Cowboy
 imc1978
Joined: 12/11/2007
Msg: 9
Blocking Users is being abused
Posted: 4/3/2011 5:20:52 PM
Hi,

I contacted a woman about a comedian she liked on her profile and I like and she blocked me.


Which means she does not want you to contact her again thats ALL. Just move on.
 CheshireCatalyst
Joined: 9/14/2007
Msg: 10
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Blocking Users is being abused
Posted: 4/4/2011 1:18:57 AM
The only way that people know that they are blocked is to try emailing a second time after they receive a negative or non-response.

Yes, sometimes people will block you when you've done nothing obviously wrong - there are several reasons for this that aren't a reflection on you personally. Stop continually emailing if you don't receive a favourable response the first time and you should find that you rarely become aware of when you're blocked.

I always thought that the number of blocks one received had no bearing on their profile? Isn't that correct?
 rearguard*2
Joined: 2/8/2008
Msg: 11
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Blocking Users is being abused
Posted: 4/4/2011 7:46:15 AM
Don't try to understand it. There are people, complete strangers, who have initiated contact with me who, when I tried to respond to their note, I found myself to be blocked!

POF has all kinds of people, a considerable number of whom are completely nuts.......
 CheshireCatalyst
Joined: 9/14/2007
Msg: 12
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Blocking Users is being abused
Posted: 4/4/2011 7:49:30 AM
^^Never heard of anyone being able to pre-emptively block. They can't block you until you've sent them a message.

Only the "Meet Me" feature works that way because it doesn't account for profile filters.
 rearguard*2
Joined: 2/8/2008
Msg: 13
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Blocking Users is being abused
Posted: 4/4/2011 8:17:10 AM
Okay, I will explain how it happens:

1) Person sends me a msg.
2) I read message and click on reply
3) POF pops up a message saying that the user has me blocked.

Works perfectly well. Just means the original sender has issues.......
 HawkingJr
Joined: 4/16/2007
Msg: 14
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Blocking Users is being abused
Posted: 4/4/2011 1:13:09 PM
"I've been talking to several POF users over a while and I found that many are blocking people who message them just because they're not interested in them (after one introductory) message."

OP is saying the users who are doing this type of blocking are the ones who are telling him about it, not people who are getting blocked and just guessing as to why, which is what several of you seem to be insinuating. Indeed, there are quite a few posts on these boards from people who claim they automatically block anyone they aren't interested in, so it's hardly uncommon behavior. I have a female friend on here who blocked all guys she wasn't interested in, until I pointed out the problem with that strategy (see next paragraph), after which she decided to only block guys after one email only if the first was inappropriate. (She also asked why that wasn't mentioned anywhere on the main site, to which I could only reply, that's just the POF way.)

"I always thought that the number of blocks one received had no bearing on their profile? Isn't that correct?"

Actually, to go even a step beyond this, one of the moderators recently pointed out (not sure in which of the many block threads) that because so many people had started using blocks to circumvent POF's new applications such as the "green dot" that POF had to start sending those profiles set for automated deletion due to a high amount of blocks to a staff member, so that person could investigate the frequently blocked user to see if he/she truly did warrant profile deletion. But apparently before that, your profile could be automatically deleted by the system for high number/percentage of blocks without any recourse to plead your case. You just tried to log in one day, and it was gone, and unless you truly were an abusive POF user, you would have no idea why.

But I have to assume the threshold for getting deleted is pretty darn high -- if anyone would get automatically deleted for a high NUMBER of blocks, it would probably be me, because I've been on here 4 years (well, as of next Saturday) and have definitely sent out more than 1000 first contact emails and possibly even close to 2000; surely to God I've been blocked by hundreds if a significant amount of women do block every guy twho doesn't interest her. However, I'm not sure it's a "significant amount" because only once that I can recall have I accidentally attempted to re-first contact a woman and discovered I'd been blocked, yet I'm sure I must have accidentally re-first contacted many more than that. If it's by PERCENTAGE (which would make more sense), then I don't know if I'd be more likely to get my profile deleted than any other non-abusive guy, other than just bad luck.

BTW, in that same moderator post I mentioned, it was also clarified that a "temporary block" didn't count against you (that is, someone blocks you just to get themselves out of your sent folder, then immediately takes the block off). Although, not sure that jives with the apparently heavy increase of blocks that led to staff member profile deletion reviews, unless lots of people are forgetting to un-block after blocking.
 LotusLand0315
Joined: 4/5/2010
Msg: 15
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Blocking Users is being abused
Posted: 4/4/2011 11:50:12 PM
I think the block threshold may have dropped significantly. I just got a PM just today warning mw that if was blocked again my account would be deleted. Blocking is one thing but being at risk for your account being deleted due to blocking is another huge issue. And for that, I can say the system here isnt working despite what cowboy thinks or believes.
 CheshireCatalyst
Joined: 9/14/2007
Msg: 16
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Blocking Users is being abused
Posted: 4/5/2011 7:14:17 AM
If a sufficient number of blocks actually do cause profiles to be deleted or flagged for deletion then this is clearly wrong. What's wrong with flagging profiles for which there are actual complaints via the "Report Profile" button? Since the advent of the green "online" button, the reasons for blocking someone have become convoluted.

Seems to be a good illustration of the Law of Unintended Consequences.....
 ReBluez
Joined: 1/23/2011
Msg: 17
Blocking Users is being abused
Posted: 4/5/2011 7:26:32 AM

If a sufficient number of blocks actually do cause profiles to be deleted or flagged for deletion then this is clearly wrong.


I think it's actually very right. If a person has been blocked by a certain number (whatever that number is) of people, isn't that an indicator that something isn't right with how they interact with other users? Honestly, to get two people on POF to agree on the same color of the sky is rare, but if that many people block someone, I have to believe it's more than mere chance.

Plus, the ability to block is the only tool left to users who absolutely want to shut down any further contact with someone, for whatever reason that might be. We can't hide our profiles from certain users (we have to hide from everyone or no one), so this little ability lets us have, at least, a little control over who we want to have contact us.

I see it as a useful pruning tool.


Bluez
 CheshireCatalyst
Joined: 9/14/2007
Msg: 18
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Blocking Users is being abused
Posted: 4/5/2011 7:31:59 AM
^^Yes, but as you mentioned, it is a tool to shut down contact. People who are using it for that purpose, probably have no idea that it *might* cause a profile to get tossed. When my profile was visible, I used to block only if the person wouldn't take "no" for an answer or was rude. I still get emails from forum participants, and I don't block them unless they're rude. If they're rude I'll also report them via the proper channel.

If someone is truly abusive or a pox on the PoF community - use the "Report Profile" button to register your complaint. There you have several options via the drop-down box.

I believe that we should use the tools available to us for their intended purpose. The block feature is no longer being used exclusively for its intended purpose, and it's apparently causing people to come up for review who otherwise wouldn't in 20 years of use here.

Just sayin'
 UglyFroggieCritter
Joined: 8/21/2010
Msg: 20
Blocking Users is being abused
Posted: 4/5/2011 4:54:57 PM
I think the "Block Feature" as being used now, needs to be completely overhauled.

When first implimented, it was used as a warning to those users who were less than couth when dealing with other users.

Then came the "Prehemptive" block which users applied when coming across someone whom they did not wish to answer mail from and used to block those annoying "how come wouldn't answer me", "You're nothing but a stuck up pig", or "Why don't you think we'd be a match?"

The "Preemptive" block can also be used so that users who have message you and to whom you may have or have not replied, cannot see you as being "Online" via the green dot on your inbox mail page.

Hence, we have all sorts of blocking being done by various people for various reasons (indeed, some nefarious with no reason).

I can see how it would be possible for some user who, while actually using the site and messageing people, might manage to hit that magical number when a profile would be cancelled due to number of blocks others have put on them.

If this could be cleared up by Admin in some way so that some of the fishies could rest easier, it would be a blessing.

Cheers.
 ReBluez
Joined: 1/23/2011
Msg: 21
Blocking Users is being abused
Posted: 4/5/2011 5:35:29 PM

It really wouldn't take much for a cadre of malicious blockers on the forums to have individuals they want gone to be gone.

Yes, provided the one being blocked has emailed each one of those individuals, right? I mean that seems to be the general consensus, that a first email has to be involved before a block can be initiated. While I know that's a fallacy, most users don't know how to block without it, hence there could be a conspiracy but it would take a lot of planning to pull it off and any number of things could thwart it before a profile is deleted. Most would be more effective if they used the "Report User" function and not by generating enough blocks.



I think the "Block Feature" as being used now, needs to be completely overhauled.

Even a current Mod has said that a block can be for ANY reason, not necessarily for one that someone else thinks is valid. While the Admin may have had a specific reason for implementing the block feature, even he didn't limit it to specific reasons.


Bluez
 ReBluez
Joined: 1/23/2011
Msg: 22
Blocking Users is being abused
Posted: 4/5/2011 10:08:42 PM

Presumably, if you know how to apply a preemptive block, then others know how to as well.

It's not as well known as you might think, at least not if you read the questions revolving around blocking and the answers being given. Yes, I'm sure others do know how, it's how I learned of it... but it certainly isn't being discussed publicly to where the general membership could easily pick it up. Most people won't even research it.

I understand what you're saying.. .yes, a conspiracy could be hatched, given that someone (or some group) was hellbent on doing it to someone. With that kind of effort, most anything is possible. But since even a Mod doesn't know what that block threshold is, it would be almost impossible for a general member to know unless they were privy to inside information. All I'm saying is.. there are easier ways to accomplish the same objective.


Bluez
 HawkingJr
Joined: 4/16/2007
Msg: 23
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Blocking Users is being abused
Posted: 4/6/2011 8:31:31 AM
I think these "vast conspiracy" ideas are a little farfetched. I suppose it could happen, but anyone with that many people ganging up on him or her in this type of adult environment (as opposed to an elementary school playground) is probably something of a troublemaker anyway.

As Chesire said, the primary concern about blocking remains that someone could by sheer bad luck have his/her profile deleted due to the current unanticipated philosophies of its use. The main thing to me is what my friend said: I think it's fair for someone to use blocking in whatever manner they wish, so long as they understand the consequences of using it on the other person, BUT the problem is that those consequences are not spelled out on the main site. Nowhere in the main site's "HELP" area does it say you can lose your account if you accumulate too many blocks. The POF forums is the only place connected to the site where this is spelled out (forums that are no longer directly linked to from the site, ironically), and apparently even some long time members of the site don't know that blocks can lead to the deletion of your account, so it's not even necessarily clearly spelled out here.

This reminds me of how "Other Relationship" was once equivalent to "Intimate Encounters," meaning you could get your account flagged for messaging such people, yet that was not mentioned anywhere on the main site, and people were getting flagged for it without knowingly doing anything "seedy." Finally, YEARS into that issue, admin read a complaint on the message board about how this was unknowingly tripping up people and killed off "Other Relationship" to fix the problem.
 *Cowboy*
Joined: 4/28/2006
Msg: 24
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Blocking Users is being abused
Posted: 4/6/2011 9:35:26 AM

As Chesire said, the primary concern about blocking remains that someone could by sheer bad luck have his/her profile deleted due to the current unanticipated philosophies of its use
All I can do is report what I received ina reply from our Admin months ago when I wrote and expressed my concerns over this very situation.

He replied indicating that the profiles were not Auto-Deleteted and it took a manual review which would include email history etc... (no I do not know EXACTLY what that includes) to justify a profile being deleted due to just blocks.

Cowboy
 2011Superman
Joined: 3/14/2011
Msg: 25
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Blocking Users is being abused
Posted: 4/6/2011 9:54:50 AM
I sent an email to POF trying to find a better way to improve time management. We all agree that it takes courage, effort, faith and hope to send someone a message with honest and genuine intentions of putting your best foot forward right?

Well I'm not offended if they don't reply, it's their loss not mine if they choose not to communicate with me... So my question to POF folks was, I don't see any way to filter the people you have already contacted and who are not interested in you. So currently I block them but if you never get a message from them of any kind then they don't show up in your block list... So I guess I'm stuck looking through old sent messages to try to find if I have sent a message to a person before so I don't waste time sending them another message if they are honestly not interested.

I work with applications like this all the time and depending on what program the used to build and support the site it can be as easy as adding a data field to their programming and databases to support a yes or no value so that you can select a box opting to not have a particular person show up in your results...

My 2 cents but if for some reason I want to block someone, it's my choice and I would prefer if those people didn't occupy real estate on my results page when searching for someone that may actually want to communicate with me.
 *Cowboy*
Joined: 4/28/2006
Msg: 26
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Blocking Users is being abused
Posted: 4/6/2011 10:25:06 AM

So my question to POF folks was, I don't see any way to filter the people you have already contacted and who are not interested in you. So currently I block them
Well that accomplished nothing except preventing them from ever contacting you so ????


to try to find if I have sent a message to a person before so I don't waste time sending them another message if they are honestly not interested
Except your sent messages only stay for 20 days so this is not a solution.

You have to use some type of local application like a spreadhseet or browser bookmarks or something else to track them.

Cowboy
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