Freecycling

Fighting for freerecyling

Charge 3: The ‘bait and switch’ tactic

A charge levelled at disaffected moderators is that they grew a TFN group and then left the TFN fold of TFN, taking the group with them.

There are a number of issues here.

  1. Was the membership consulted properly about the switch? And if so what was the response.
  2. Was TFN consulted about the issues? And if so what was the response.
  3. Was a switch away from TFN planned from the outset?
  4. Who created and promoted the group?
  5. And most importantly who actually “owns” the group?

So let’s start with the last point. If I create a group, then affiliate to the Freecycle network, does that mean that I yield ownership at the time of affiliation?

And talking of which, where is the actual contract of affiliation? This is such an important point. If when a group affiliates to TFN they sign a document ceding ownership – then there is no problem.

On the otherhand if TFN creates a group and assigns ownership to someone who is local do they cede ownership? Since they KNOW that the local person will have a Yahoo job title of “owner”, surely they have no defence.

Ignoring legalities is it morally correct to take a group out of the TFN fold? I guess it might depend on how the group gets new members. If the local owner can demonstrate considerable efforts in promoting and expanding the group – then surely that is their effort. If few referrals come from http://www.freecycle.org, then surely TFN has little claim.

I would certainly support the bait and switch hypothesis if a new incumbent did nothing but accept new members and then just moved away without debate. That would be reprehensible.

And talking of reprehensibility, “let him who casts the first stone…”

So anyone who suggests that “bait and switch” is immoral or illegal on a matter of principle needs to rethink their position, imho, and delve a bit deeper on a case by case basis.

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June 28, 2007 - Posted by | freecycle

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