Freecycle Member Review

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Good Morning! Good Afternoon! Good Evening! Good Night! definition of the word shame

In order to provide information to the people who freecycle items, this is the freecycle member review. It is for all the good people who freecycle so that they can be aware of the few people involved in freecycle who are not so good and abuse the rest of the members. This web page is like a newspaper article which is to inform people. Also along the lines of the media people who help others deal with problems. Most auction sites have the ability to give feedback regarding those who you have dealt with and there are many consumer sites which allow you to give feedback regarding businesses, this is basically the same, just for the freecycle lists.

It is important to remember that the truth is an absolute defense to a claim of libel or slander. Something which many people don't seem to understand.

After one too many problems with a freecycler, I decide to create and maintain this web page so that there is a place to let others know about problem freecyclers. If the person were to do the right thing, such as informing others what they intend to do in advance, then there would be nothing to say here. Some people who give items away may not care if the person sells the item(s) they are giving away, but others might instead to give the item(s) to others who don't intend to profit from the free gifts. It is the lack of disclosure which presents a problem. There are also other issues, such as requesting an item and never getting it and never communicating that there was a change of mind regarding the item. Again, it is the lack of communication which creates the problem. It seems to me that most, if not all of the problems occur due to a lack of communication. My hope is that with this web page people will think twice before failing to do the right thing and that those who do it on an ongoing basis will be documented so that others will not waste their time with them. It would be best is nothing is ever documented here, but sadly that is not the case.

A recent example of this is a person who posted that someone was asking for coupons in order to sell them on ebay. Further back I heard about a person who wanted computer equipment so that they could sell it. My personal opinion is that if the person is going to sell an item, it should be disclosed, upfront and my personal view is that anything I get from freecycle can only be given away and never sold, once free, always free.

So, if you have a story about a fellow freecycler that you would like to share in a more permanent sense, please send the story to me. Also include the email address of the person (since that is how people are tracked), but be warned I will attempt to contact that person to allow them to defend themselves and they will be allowed, as is only fair, to have a reply on the web page. I also reserve the right to not post anything I choose to not post, especially if there is any question about it (no revenge, for example). The statements must be clear and explain what occurred and without name calling and other such stuff.

It seems that some of the Freecycle list maintainers don't like the concept of documenting abuses of freecycle and seem to think that everything is perfect. While this is an interesting concept, it does not hold to reality. I was also told that there are regional moderators who deal with abuse, but they seem to operate in secret, even to the abusers, so that does not seem to be an effective way to deal with problems.

Also, if you have an example of very positive experiences I would also like to hear about them too. The problem with this is that most of the interactions are positive, so this needs to be something which really stands out and makes the person well above average, otherwise everyone will be listed (which is a good thing, but a bit pointless).

Please send entries to: review_freecycle at (spam eliminator) and/or include "shame" in the subject line.

Please let me know if you have any questions.

I did contact and was told that one of the rules is that you have to disclose if you intend to sell an item which you get from freecycle before receiving them:
    Re: Rules
    Date: Thursday 09:04:47 pm

    ... We do have a rule that any items that will be re-sold need to be acknowledged to the offerer. This still acheives the original purpose - to keep the items out of the landfill. If the offerer would rather give them to someone and not sell themselves; and not throw them in the garbage, that is a plus for the environment.

Nicole Johnson-Maxwell
freecyclenorthridge maintainer

Sadly, the first report to this webpage is the list maintainer to the Northridge freecycle list. I posted the above message to the list and got several positive messages and a couple of negative ones. When I explained that I would try to get both sides of the story and not just post something, I think some of the fears were removed.

In this case the list maintainer decided to change my posting status to moderation without any communication or notice to me, either before or after. She confirms that I was not moderated in the first sentence. She posted a message to the list about this and implied this, so I checked. I don't find this type of behaviour to be acceptable and it is unprofessional.

I am curious to know why she would think that such information is bad and why it would make her sad. It would be nice if everyone was good, but as they say: One bad apple spoils the whole batch. I think it is better to inform people in order to correct the bad behaviour.

This is her message:
    [freecyclenorthridge] ADMIN: Recent post regarding "shame" website
    Date: Yesterday 09:10:20 pm
    From: Nicole Johnson-Maxwell
    To: Hi group I just wanted to say that this post slipped by me ( the poster was not on moderated posts so it went through automatically) and I heartfeltidly apologize for it coming at you in your inboxes. I assume the poster has good intentions, but the result is not appropriate. The regional moderators for Freecycle ( TM) have been mae aware and are handling the situation. I work hard to keep the posts here about keeping stuff out of landfills ( OFFER, WANT, TAKEN, PPU, ADMIN) with an intention to not clutter your boxes or mine and to keep things happy. I am sorry if this post upset anyone and I know I got at least a couple emails, so I know it did.

    I don't like to think that I have to moderate all the posts here. I had hoped to take a bunch of people off moderated status and get things moving just a tad faster around here. If you don't know, all moderated posts come through the moderators first, needing to be approved before they get posted and right now I am the only moderator on this list. Anyway, posts like this one make me feel bad and make me feel like I have to keep a vigilant eye on posts and that makes me sad. I like to think that we are all good people on the same page here. That's not to say that the poster is in any way "bad", but the idea of that site just doesn't sit well with many people AND that kind of post is not about keeping stuff oout of landfills, which is our board mission. If anyone wants to broadly impact Freecycle ( TM) they might choose to join the regional moderators and help with sanctioned activities.

    Anyway... happy New Year everyone. Clean out that clutter and post! It's a great time for a clean closet!

    Thanks for your time, support and energy here the past six months. It's an honor and joy to moderate for this great cause and grgeat group of humans.

    Nikki Maxwell
If you notice, she mentions intention with regard to my creation of this web page and the posting of the message about it. It does not seem that she ever considered communication to ask about it or anything else. It is clear that she really does not care to stop those few people who abuse freecycle, such as those who use freecycle to make a profit without informing the givers of what they intend to do.

There is also the implied thread that the regional moderators are aware and are handling "the situation". Just what is the situation? That someone wants people to be informed about the people they are dealing with? Consider auction sites, why do you think that they have feedback ratings? What purpose does it serve to have feedback about others? If it is good enough for auction sites, business web pages where the company is rated, etc., then why shouldn't it be good enough for freecycle?

While most people who freecycle are good people, there aer a few that abuse the group and the concept by trying to make a profit off of the gifts of others. If they informed the person what they intended to do in advance, then there would not be a problem, but that is not typically the case and when you contact them they will lie about it.

I am not sure of why this freecycle list maintainer would choose to support those who abuse freecycle and harass those who try to provide information to others about the abuse.

Comments from a person on a freecycle list

I am really irritated with some of my fellow freecyclers. How can someone post an item and then I reply within MINUTES of them posting, and then I get NO REPLY for a week, and then it is only a TAKEN post.

Come on people, how much time does it take to send replies to those few who ask about your offered items? Is it TOO MUCH trouble to tell someone "you are the first to reply" or "you are #2, 3, 4 in line" etc? Is it too much trouble to tell the late repliers - personally - that the item is already spoken for, as well as posting a PROMISED post. Then we don't have to check our email 50 times a day, wasting the whole day, thinking at any moment we might have to jump in the car to pick something up if we somehow happen to get lucky...

Tell me honestly, is there anyone out there posting items that you get SO MANY replies before the item is taken that you can't communicate personally with the people that inquire about your item? I have yet to hear of someone getting hundreds of replies to their posts.

I have started to pass on some items posted by certain people, simply out of disgust, because I have contacted them before and then hear absolutely NOTHING for days, if at all.

P.S. I wonder if anyone besides me even kept the link to this page? I wonder if there is some way the moderator will allow members to be notified when there is an entry posted on this page? I think that people need this stuff pointed out to them, repeatedly. My personal view is that if someone can't take the time to communicate personally with those interested in their items, then we are all better off if they DON'T post their items at all.

It seems that not all is happy in the world of giving away free items. I would think that with the concept of giving things away for free that everyone could get along, but I guess there is money involved with respect to some groups, such as freecycle, so they want to protect what they consider is "their" property.

One aspect which seems to affect both freecycle and freesharing is the broken concept of what is acceptable for giving away. Neither group will allow giving away legal weapons, which should not be a problem as long as all laws are followed. The other aspect is that the item has to be appropriate for all ages. This rule is broken on a regular basis, but is enforced when emotions get involved, such as with firearms. Freesharing says that it is not appropriate to give away a collection of Playboy magazines, as an example. This should be acceptable as long as the receiver is over 18 years old. I have seen lawnmowers and chainsaws given away on freecycle and those are most certainly not appropriate for all ages. I think it is a problem when the rules are enforced due to emotional reasons, rather than logic and rational reasons. It is important that everything be legal and beyond that anything should be acceptable.

Tim Oey: A public statement that you may forward...
Fighting to keep freecycle as free as it used to be!

lawsuit in which Deron Beals is suing Tim Oey
PDF file of the lawsuit

If you would like to discuss and/review issues with freecycle (in a reasonable and calm manner), then feel free to join a Yahoo Egroup called "freecycling_review". It is important to be accurate, especially if you mention someone's name. Name calling and other such things are not acceptable.

Subscribe to freecycling_review
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Yahoo egroups seems to act in an unethical manner. Previously I had a group called "freecycle_review", which is acceptable since it is fair use. The Freecycle people claimed it violated their trademark, which as I understand it has been rejected. They refused to response to the fair use aspect and Yahoo removed the group without dealing with the real issue. Since this group reviews members of freecycle, it can in no way get confused with the idea of giving things away.



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