Hit & Run Researchers

Discussion in 'Network Information, Suggestions and Feedback' started by von Poop, Jun 20, 2021.

  1. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin


    Mornin'... whatever.

    Had a few posters recently that have pumped members for assistance with research, received the usual helpful & open assistance, then deleted their posts and f-ed off...


    To anyone passing that gives a toss:
    We're a free, open website, full of almost every kind of WW2 obsessive.
    People that 'know things', or are surprisingly good at finding things out.
    Nobody is getting paid here. (The odd external research arrangements that might happen are sod all to do with us).
    The owner, Otto, spends thousands of dollars (whatever they are...) a year keeping us afloat.
    The intent, I believe, is to push forward people's WW2 interests - the free & useful sharing of information.

    You might think your specific area of interest or person you're researching is only of interest to you.
    Well, countless instances prove that leaving things lying around on the Internet can be immensely useful for people coming after you. (Even sometimes gets you a later contact containing a flood of stuff.)
    So many are following the barest crumb trails of info. Scattered nuggets, where just one small factual detail can open up a world of further paths to follow.

    Your taking help - people's time & knowledge - then clearing out and deleting all your posts, helps nobody except you.
    Obviously I get that families can be weird, and people sometimes need to clear stuff away as some peculiar family member has had a tizzy - never had a problem with that & it's a part of why we're ridiculously generous on allowing self-editing of posts compared to most forums, but just clearing out as some have done recently, without a word, is ridiculous.

    We'll keep being a free & open site, but we're also going to be more intolerant of anyone that gets help, then deletes & runs.
    I don't like you. I think you're probably a selfish muppet outside of the 'spirit' of WW2Talk, and suspect the bulk of the membership doesn't either. I've even watched you post things on assorted soshul meeja & individual websites pretending that you've dug everything up on your own... (I don't say anything. I'm British. I just add to the heap of grudges. :unsure:)

    Play silly buggers (basically the deleting thing), and you get one chance from now on.

    Apologies to members who get it already, but I've recently been... moderately irked... by this.

    Cheers, & please: Don't take the piss.
  2. Charley Fortnum

    Charley Fortnum Dreaming of Red Eagles

    If the board is like others and there's a difference between 'soft delete' (users' delete) and 'hard delete' (admin only), you could always restore the deleted posts.

    It's not a power to exercise lightly, but I've found threads that have been rendered unfollowable as a result of disgruntled hissy-fits.

    From the terms and conditions:

    You are granting us with a non-exclusive, permanent, irrevocable, unlimited license to use, publish, or re-publish your Content in connection with the Service. You retain copyright over the Content.

    Which means that once content has been posted here, the board management is legally entitled to determine its fate.
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2021
  3. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Old Hickory Recon

    Did you send your post to the ass-rot(s) in a direct email?

    You should.

    I am pretty sure you could include regards from most of the valuable membership to kiss our collective arses.

    I miss the ability in the old Vbulletin to easily restore deleted posts, even when they would try to be sneaky and overwrite a post, then delete it.
  4. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery Patron

    dot dot dash dash

    hear! hear!
    Slipdigit and BrianHall1963 like this.
  5. MarkN

    MarkN Well-Known Member

    I've yet to come across any of these hit & run researchers. Perhaps their interest lies in areas different to mine.

    However, I have noticed an increase in 'new members' popping up with what can best be explained as demands for a free research service. Where they have an assumption - and an expectation - that other site members are their to do their donkey work for them.

    I get the impression quite often that the word "sharing" is exploited by some deliberately for selfish benefit even to the extent of a bit of cyber bullying. There is a difference between openly engaging in a mutual exchange of information (give & take) for the benefit of all and one way traffic.
  6. One remedy to those inelegant leeches would be to systematically quote their messages at least once when replying. I'm not sure however if this would work for attachments as well, or if we would have to re-post them too?

  7. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    I personally don't have problem with people asking for help (it's one of the reasons why this place is so vibrant at times) even if the OP wants it all for nothing and never say thanks. I actually enjoy sharing info, why I hang around so much. As vP has intimated - you never know who'll turn up next on the thread offering to share something in return; even simple enthusiasm can refresh all those watching a topic.

    The actual problem is afterwards deleting all the text involved in actual requests: for members who have taken the time/effort to share information which can be widely searched, it can rob a thread of context and any relevance. Not merely a lack of manners or indeed ignorance of how forums like ours work, but a proper show of two fingers at any and all who click on the link.

    The simplest guidelines for any member who is unsure of responding to requests for help :

    • You have a choice whether to reply or not. But if you do, remember that your post will be out there for others to appreciate, even when the OP doesn't acknowledge.
    • You can always use the quote option if in any doubt.
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2021
  8. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery Patron

    I would add you lot on here are a dam fine bunch so keep doing what you do and we still maintain the best WW2 resource for Brit and Commonwealth info on the planet
    morrisc8, Shiny 9th, redtop and 9 others like this.
  9. MarkN

    MarkN Well-Known Member

    Yes. I understood what von Poop wrote. It's a weird one. But one I have not come across yet myself. One individual being a bit anti-social is hardly an extraordinary occurance, but a series of users doing the same thing suggests a deliberate and ulterior motive is at play.

    You mention a link. What link? Are they deleting content and inserting a link in its place hoping to catch the unwary or less tech savvy?

    I don't have a problem either with most who are seeking help and guidance. This place is a great place to come and do just that.

    However, I have noted with increasing frequency a handful overstepping the mark and exploiting the goodwill of others.

    One recently asked a series of questions (starting a new thread for each) apparently looking for information to create/update/revise wiki pages. When another poster asked him for a link to the precise wiki page he was trying to add to, the response was "go and find it yourself!". Really?

    On another occasion recently, another new member asked for information on topic X - a broad subject with a lot of info easily findable with an internet search. He/she ignored requests for them to provide a bit of background as to what research they had already done to avoid wasteful duplication. Then, when a series of helpful posts came in with information and links to other sites, the inquisitor bluntly responded they has already visited/consulted the suggestions and it was not what they were looking for!
    Roy Martin and Tony56 like this.
  10. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    Saw those already. To be blunt: perceived rudeness or social 'awkwardness' (from which I also suffer) aren't new on this, or any other, forum. (And not just from new members ;)) If people don't get replies because of it, it'll be their loss...

    And back to
    "Hit & Run Researchers"

    I meant - When people search on the internet for something that's useful, they might click on a link to one of our threads...only to find deleted text, with orphaned replies.
    Not ideal for an info sharing platform.
    Recce_Mitch and Roy Martin like this.
  11. BrianHall1963

    BrianHall1963 Well-Known Member

    VP is right one little nugget can turn into the missing link you could be looking for and thanks for all the help I have received (still need a few more nuggets unfortunately).You can tell the posts he is on about Asking a lot of help and questions giving the minimum of information not even a name of who they are looking into and then gone and claim it’s all their own work ,bit of a kick in the teeth for some decent people KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK
    Roy Martin and CL1 like this.
  12. jonheyworth

    jonheyworth Senior Member

    We had that weird woman who I swore foully at but that’s my only such experience on here . I fully agree with non deletion . One of the strengths of this place is how ten years on , something new pops up on an old thread
  13. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery Patron

    "swore foully at" made me laugh mate
  14. m kenny

    m kenny Senior Member

    Many years back AHF allowed users to delete their old posts and one very prolific poster fell out with the mods and quietly (by starting with his oldest posts) managed to delete the lot without being noticed. It wrecked a lot of threads. They soon removed that option.
    Mind you it could be worse. There was a very active internet 'personality' with an iffy history who wangled his way into a quite popular site and got himself promoted to co-host because of his coding skills. His true nature emerged when, after a spat with the owner, he locked him out and completely erased the whole forum.
    What I don't like is any forum that allows a member to leave and take his name from the members list. It makes searching that persons history/posts very difficult.
    Roy Martin, BFBSM and Chris C like this.
  15. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery Patron

  16. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    Quite justifiably so. I laughed. :pipe:

    Not going to 'change' anything about the system, chaps.
    Nor do I really care about the occasional bit of rudeness or lunatic oddball - all part of the forum thing (was called 'f-ing strange' again today by the woman I love... so... y'know), and as D says: everyone can choose to reply or not.
    We let people edit for a long time (permanent, really. Settings are weird and time-based, but its something like ten to the power of 10k days ), because of... 'trust'.
    Tricky thing, trust, but I'd rather we kept hoping everyone could be a bit grown-up and restrained, while having an inkling of why we exist & how 'research' works, than take a possibly useful feature away from those that roll or update certain 'information' posts.

    The beef is with a very specific sort of behaviour that I've seen a few times over the last year.
    I know how boring my long-standing satisfaction at rarely banning humans was, but I seem a lot more sanguine with that button recently, and this particular deleting knobbery gets you booted from now on.
    Obviously, you can just re-register under a different name (Though we might also get you with an IP ban if very very lucky/annoyed), but I can at least gain some degree of satisfaction at what a pain in the arse such things can be to manage.

    Carry on,
    Wobbler, Recce_Mitch, dbf and 2 others like this.
  17. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Old Hickory Recon

    I don't mind at all helping anyone find out what Grandpa did during the war. I actually enjoy the sleuthing and acquisition of new information, although I am not a lot of help here and generally try to keep my schnoz out of the inquiries where I would really just get in the way. I just don't know a great deal about our Commonwealth Allies other than broad operational and strategic discussions. I'm always looking for firsthand accounts of the Tommy, but they are few an far between over here.

    Researching grandpa has some excitement, such as several years ago in WW2F, where a new member joined trying find out about his grandfather's service. He knew nothing and I mean nothing other than an Italian village his grandfather offhandedly mentioned. Using that tidbit of information, within a day or two our learned members there not only had his unit information but had located the hill where the grandfather was wounded. Amazing. That is fun.

    I won't quit helping folks, but I still want to punch the occasional asshole in the face for being, well, an asshole.
    Wobbler, Andreas, Andsco and 9 others like this.
  18. papiermache

    papiermache Well-Known Member


    If you would care to visit Washington D.C. you could be "Our Man In College Park." NARA may be closed at the moment.

    Answering questions usually brings a bonus although the questioners can be a little tiresome. Often they think they know the answer, which is very bright of them. And if you do answer they sometimes point out that you are wrong, according to their lights.

    One recent questioner has inspired me, unbeknownst to the OP, to embark on three days work going through old photos with some research yet to do. The outcome will be far removed from the OP's originating summons. So hit-and-runners have their uses.

    It could be that some of the "hit-and-runners" are part of the new Kew strategy as outlined in this extract from the "public" minutes of the April 2021 Board meeting, i.e., non-executive directors. { Whereabouts of "non-public" minutes ? )

    " ... introduced the discussion and noted that the new approach was to have planned and agreed research projects for staff, which visibly deliver/contribute towards the delivery of our strategy. She outlined the benefits of this for both the organisation and the researchers."

    So we could be part of a "visible delivery" which is invisible to me, and without pension benefits.

    I think researchers are part of the Honourable Corps of Anti-Weeders ( cap badge: a treasury tag encircling a rusty paper-clip).

    Unfortunately, most of the weeding of files was carried out in government departments decades ago. Picture shows an FO series file cover.


    Last Year's File No..jpg
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2021
    Osborne2, timuk and Roy Martin like this.
  19. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Old Hickory Recon

    I would like to be able to be "the man at College Park", but Maryland is a pretty good trot from here and I really don't want to live there.
    papiermache likes this.
  20. papiermache

    papiermache Well-Known Member

    Good of you to consider it !
    I shall just have to gaze at the catalogue which interests me.

    Japanese War Crimes

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