I have a story to tell. So, I run a community and there is this other community on the same subject. The owner of it posts a spam thread on my forums, acting like he isn’t affiliated with the site. This post is removed.

Before I saw this post, the person e-mailed me and asked for my advice in developing his forums. I answered and did what I could for him. And, after that, I saw that a moderator of mine had removed the post he made.

After a period of time goes by, he e-mails me again, asking for my advice. Once again, I helped him, but I also mentioned that you don’t want to spam forums, especially in such a devious way.

In response to this, he acted as though his community being spammed on other ones was something that has happened before because he allowed someone in his office access to his account to “promote” his site. That person had been dealt with, he said.

That’s fine and dandy, but I reminded him that whatever happens under his account, he will ultimately be held responsible for.

A couple months later, what happens? Someone from his group with an e-mail at his domain made 25 junk posts so that s/he could use our private message system. And then that person sent approximately 50 different members the same PM. Any guess as to what they contained? Worse yet, it was signed by the same guy, even though the username didn’t match his name.

I deleted most of the PMs before anyone had viewed them.

Four days before this PM spamming, he had again e-mailed me asking for assistance and I had, again, kindly assisted.

At this point, I took a look at the site and noticed they had ripped our forum descriptions. I once again told him what happened, gave him the details and then I didn’t hear from him again.

Until recently when he e-mailed to ask if he could buy a paid advertisement. That wasn’t going to happen. I took another look at his site and saw that, while it appeared the descriptions had now changed, they had now stolen our rank images! These are unique and were created specifically for me.

I informed him of this. And I haven’t heard back. But, he has now marked his forums as private. Ha. Marking your forums as invisible is not an answer to copyright infringement. The files are still on your server! I plan to file a DMCA notice soon.

Anyway, how much can one guy do? Some people don’t get it. Not everyone is cut out to manage forums or manage people. Maybe he’s listening to some really bad advice. None of these things are particularly unheard of, if you manage forums, though it’s rare when they all come together in a great synergy for one person or one site.

Sometimes, we can learn a ton, not just from the people we want to be like – but the people we don’t.