Fighting for freerecyling

Yahoo finds out about finder

Come on Deron, what’s your reaction to this official statement by Yahoo’s Group Community Manager on the flagrant illegal use of your finder email address that you instruct every TFN group to use?  For myself, I have stayed pretty clear of commenting on finder – until now.  The issue for anyone who is not aware is two-fold.  Firstly any owner or moderator who adds it to their group is in flagrant breach of Yahoo’s TOS.  The second is a very, very serious issue of breach of Internet privacy that is being promoted and perpetuated by The Freecycle Network.

To understand why you have to understand the nature of a free recycling group as defined by TFN, compared with a default Yahoo Group.  All TFN free recycling groups have open membership, by definition.  This means that the membership at any given instant can be a very fluid thing.  Members can freely come and go as they feel.  This is different to many groups where membership can require approval and where members often join but rarely leave.   That’s what I mean by fluid.  And a key aspect of the fluidity it is fully controlled by the member and not by the ownership and moderator team.

This means that a key point raised by Jami Helt can never, ever be met.  That point is that one way in which finder could be acceptable is if every member was balloted.  But if you have a fluid membership then you would have to re-ballot daily, weekly or at least monthly to make any sense.

The second point is a general matter of privacy.   How on earth can anyone have the audacity to republish what will inevitably contain people’s email addresses and possibly names, telephone numbers and even house addresses willy-nilly across the Internet.  The other key design aspect of a TFN free recycling group is that to read posts you must be a member.  By allowing the finder email address to repost information OUTSIDE the group to other places on the Internet that can be freely read by ANYONE is just so totally out of order.


August 13, 2007 - Posted by | finder, freecycle, yahoogroups


  1. Your next to last paragraph never occurred to me. Good point! Once again, a very well written blog.

    As to your last paragraph, they do it because Yahoo allows them to get away with it.


    Comment by Judy | August 13, 2007 | Reply

  2. Quite simply, Deron’s response to his sanctioned groups is that he, or on his behest, had never reposted content in finder. He was caught in his lies by screen shots of finder doing exactly that. Yahoo saw these shots and issued their response.

    He then locked all his groups (the various Mod Squads and OIDG) down so no discussion could occur relating to his finder. And then issued a statement that he was working with Yahoo! to get a TFN specific TOS agreement. Simply not true.

    The logistics of polling members daily, as you mentioned, is a Herculean effort. And why would an owner want to even do that? What is the true purpose of finder? He has repeatedly said that he wants to move Freecycle from Yahoo into an ad free site staying true to the grassroots of the mission, and yet he stripped Yahoo ads and replaced them with Google ads at the finder site. Now he’s back pedaled and said how happy he is with his relationship with Yahoo.

    Thank you for your blogs on this subject. Deron appears to have the audacity but not the morality in treating FC members.


    Comment by Karen | August 13, 2007 | Reply

  3. What is really, really annoying is that some of us were asking this question regarding possible violation of Y ToS months ago. The closest we got to an answer was Richard Wallman’s “Bzzzt WRONG!!” on the Welsh MS. He was more concerned about the fact that I had removed the identifying details from another mod’s partial post than addressing the actual question. FUD, I say, Richard.. and now who’s F-cing Bzzzt Wrong!?

    Bev Godfrey ex RCT Freecycle Mod/Imod

    Comment by Bev Godfrey | August 13, 2007 | Reply

  4. Bravo!!!

    Comment by Jamey | August 14, 2007 | Reply

  5. googd

    Comment by danny | June 30, 2008 | Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: