Refusal to disclose details of suspension

upendran

New Member
Messages
14
Reaction score
0
Points
0
I have read many comments and reviews about your free hosting over the Internet. I was surprised to read many many negative reviews. Surprised over the fact that one of the largest free hosts is in such a bad light, I decided to go through your forums.

I came across this thread. The following sentence was really revealing.
I'm not currently allowed to disclose the filer of the takedown request, beyond saying it was filed by the company whose rights were violated.
I want to clarify that I do not know about "theworkshop" or his website, never ever visited the said site.

Even in most autocratic regimes when the dictator beheads a person for murder, he is told whom he has murdered before executing him. Here you are the police, you are the witness, you are the judge and you are the executioner.

From the reply posted by "Poida" (I presume this the real name of theworkshop) I feel he (or she) is a very decent and cultured person.

What if someone (say X) really obtains written consent from copyright owners before publishing (there is no need to publish all consent letters, it needs to be presented only in case of dispute) and the owners write to you just to harass X. X cannot even file a defamation case because you hold back information on the assumption that all your users are potential thieves.

You can not invite someone to your free lunch (You DO INVITE in your home page) and insult him by kicking him left and right in public. IN PUBLIC, I have seen some images of your suspension page posted in the Internet that replaces the victim's home page, which is viewed by all visitors damaging their reputation.

I am waiting to see if you can tolerate criticism or going to ban me from your forums.

Upendran
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Corey

I Break Things
Staff member
Messages
34,553
Reaction score
203
Points
63
The majority of negative reviews are from users who have broken the rules and were suspended. Unfortunately when customers are happy they do not search 'x10hosting reviews' and run out to write stellar reviews about us. The only time a user writes a review for the most part is when they're angry. We've serviced over 1,000,000 users in the past 7 years. If you were able to find 1,000 negative reviews - which I doubt there are that many. That would only be .01% of our user base, a very acceptable amount for a company our size. On the other hand you would be hard pressed to find a negative review about our paid services because users that pay are generally more informed about what they are buying and follow the rules. So regarding negative reviews, take them with a grain of salt.

We do not disclose a complaining individual or company for privacy reasons. If you found a warez\hacking forum and reported it to us, would you want us giving your email and name to the abuser? What if they wanted to retaliate against you or harass you for getting their account suspended? For this reason all complaints are kept confidential, the only thing we do is verify they are legitimate before imposing a suspension or taking needed action.

If someone obtains written consent from a copyright holder they can provide it to be unsuspended, this has been done in the past, though written consent is very rare in the case of free hosting.

I'm not sure why you think we would ban you from the forums for providing feedback. The only time a user is banned from the forums is for breaking the rules, most of the time that entails swearing at us and being belligerent in general. If you can present your feedback in a constructive manner, whether it is positive or negative it will remain here and you will not be banned. I'm sure you read some "reviews" of people complaining we banned them for the forum without just cause too.
 

upendran

New Member
Messages
14
Reaction score
0
Points
0
I am glad that you are taking criticism in the right spirit. I have seen some forum admins who can not take criticism. It is correct to ban persons who use abusive words. Strong criticisms need not necessarily be abusive. I have seen forum admins not able to digest criticism and not able to ban the person because they can not point out any abuse, simply deleted the posts. I agree that great majority of abuses of copyright violations are intentional and intended to harm copyright holders. All violations can not be put in the same plank and judged. Even in criminal jurisprudence, all killings are not same. There are differences between killing someone in a road accident, culpable homicide not amounting to murder, murder, planned murder and act of terrorism.

I started looking out at user comments because I was in the lookout for a free host after Novahost discontinued their free hosting. Though they are a small host, their service was excellent, the owner Mr Nathan is a very friendly individual, always helpful.

You may be right that only .01 percent individuals are dissatisfied. What matters to the world is what is visible.

I have discounted many reviews and comments which looked like rantings without substance. There were some reviews which seemed to have substance prompted me to look into it. There was one commentator whom you had threatened to prosecute and I have found nothing objectionable in the comment.

At least in the present case I have cited, I feel that it may be an accident.

I certainly do not say you give the name and email address of the complainant. You must give which particular file or page has violated TOS. You may keep the identity of the informer of a criminal act from the person being arrested, but you must inform for which act he is arrested. I hope you are from a democratic country and understand my objection.

About written consents: I agree that it is very very rare. You might have revoked suspensions in the past on that basis. But how anyone will produce it if you do not tell which document is involved.

Please do not try to side track by mentioning warez / cracks etc. No one gives permission for that.

You can and must kick the person out in public who very obviously and intentionally and explicitly violates other peoples rights.

In case of innocuous violations, even if there is .01 percent chance that the violation is innocuous, you should give benefit of doubt. By benefit of doubt I do not say do not ban. Go ahead and ban him, but put a "contact the admin" notice on the site and send a email to the violator instead of posting a suspended for copyright violation notice on the site. (I think you do put a copyright violation notice, I have seen some screen shots.)

You have said paying users are more informed and follow rules. May be. It does not mean that free uses do not follow rules. You can not kick out a paying user blindly for the simple reason that you may be prosecuted.

Edit: Corey: I noticed that you have reviewed the suspension in question and revoked it. I appreciate your positive approach. I hope you could modify your policies and tell the offender the file / document in violations without revealing complainant details. This does not apply to blatant and obviously intentional violations.

Upendran
 
Last edited:

Anna

I am just me
Staff member
Messages
11,430
Reaction score
547
Points
113
All suspended accounts are given the same public notice for the viewers of the site, only the account owner would see the suspension reason through their account panel. Their domain is simply redirected to the suspended page through a .htaccess placed in their account (the original .htaccess is kept marked as backup and reverted back to upon unsuspension). This would be the page shown on all suspended sites, no matter the reason: http://staff.x10hosting.com/suspended.page/

The suspension reasons do get public only in such way that our official support is through these forums which gives that sometimes the user posts the reason while asking why, or they ask why we answer them with the reason as noted on their account, which not always does include the file(s) in question but might simply just say "Copyright Infringement".

The support being done in the forums mainly (there's a way to escalate the support requests into a more private ticket if the issue needs admin intervention for one reason or another) and mainly handled by community volunteers that have been around long enough to know the ropes or otherwise have made them self known as being helpful and knowledgeable does have both advantages and disadvantages I guess. One advantage being replies are often very quick and this makes that the simpler problems are solved very quick. One disadvantage could be a few of the volunteers may see the ToS as black and white. It is not always black and white though, there's a lot of gray areas when it comes to where to draw the line for what can be tolerated and what can not.

If the account owner comes and want to have their suspended account re-checked we always do so, sometimes it is quiet obvious that the user should have known what they did was illegal, other times not so obvious at which point it would be judged based on the severity of the violation, where a smaller violation (say they hosted a few mp3's) they'd get a second chance while if there's 100's of them they it would be a different matter. Same if they re-distribute software, if it is the software developers own demo files (which often it is not allowed to re-distribute) we'd be more lenient then if it is the full version with a crack/keygen file included. If we have actually gotten an official, formal, take down notice for the content that would count as a more sever violation then if it was discovered during a site review as well.
 

upendran

New Member
Messages
14
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Anna: Thanks for the clarification. I am happy to know that detailed suspension page is not shown to visitors. Not that it matters to me. I may or may not host anything here.

I saw so much negative things in the Internet about X10, particularly about suspensions (No other host has drawn so much negative comments), I thought it would be fair to post in YOUR forum.
 

stpvoice

Community Support Rep
Community Support
Messages
5,987
Reaction score
212
Points
63
Had there been some kind of dispute over the issue things would likely have taken a different course. As was said, at the time there was no reason for the person to know who filed the complaint, as that fact was irrelevant to the reason why the account was suspended. All the user needs to know is that it violated our Terms of Service and under US law copyright infringing material must be removed upon a complaint.

We only suspend accounts which violate our terms. We are under no obligation to provide information, however in most cases we will endeavour to provide the most in-depth explanation possible. This would vary case-by-case, as in some cases like the one you saw we are unable to provide information for whatever reason. Whether Data Protection applies in the US to the extent that it does in the UK I am unsure, however I know that under our Data Protection Act we cannot disclose personal information about a person who is in our records without their expressed permission. Had a legal case dispute been taken up, then there would have been exception(s) to this rule, as clearly a dispute cannot be solved without the knowledge of who is at the receiving end.

Anyway, as I say, there was no need for the user in question to know any of the complainant's details. It is possible that they would have known anyway, as our Abuse Compliance Officer did provide as in depth an explanation as was possible. We respect our users and their specific requirements, and certainly do not go around suspending accounts for no reason.

I hope I've sufficiently answered your question(s), and I hope you will find the service here at x10 satisfactory or better.
 

descalzo

Grim Squeaker
Community Support
Messages
9,373
Reaction score
326
Points
83
stpvoice: An illegal file has been found on your account.

Defend yourself.
 

Corey

I Break Things
Staff member
Messages
34,553
Reaction score
203
Points
63
Anna: Thanks for the clarification. I am happy to know that detailed suspension page is not shown to visitors. Not that it matters to me. I may or may not host anything here.

I saw so much negative things in the Internet about X10, particularly about suspensions (No other host has drawn so much negative comments), I thought it would be fair to post in YOUR forum.

I do believe we deal with it as best as we possibly can, considering everything is free we don't have the man power to spend hours researching each suspension. If a user is suspended they can always post for a review of the suspension. They also have more details in their account panel regarding why they were suspended, it's not just a suspension page all of a sudden leaving the user wondering. Over 90% of our suspensions are automatic by systems we've created to keep the servers running properly and weed out abusive users. We've had years to create and modify these systems and they are well over 99% accurate. These systems are what keep your site online when the one thousand new users each day are attempting to spam, phish, distribute warez, etc...

Regarding paid hosting, we have the same stance on illegal materials with paid users as free. The difference being they respect the terms of service because they will lose money if they don't. As per our terms we can discontinue service to a paid user at anytime, there is no risk of prosecution. Free hosting reviews are blown out of proportion due to the simple fact people signup, don't read the terms, host illegal material and get suspended. I find that this is common for users of other countries where copyright laws don't necessarily apply to them, or when there is a language barrier since they don't speak English. Because we are US based they must follow US law, and that is a problem for a lot of people.

As in all things you can't make everyone happy, it is impossible. With the amount of users we have that are NOT posting negative reviews coupled with our constant growth we can only assume that we're doing things right.

If you had a question about a specific review I'll be happy to discuss it via PM, I don't allow links to the review sites on the forums because they are completely one sided and ran for profit by competitors or affiliate scheme sites. I refuse to give them anymore traffic.
 

stpvoice

Community Support Rep
Community Support
Messages
5,987
Reaction score
212
Points
63
I'm sure it said there were no replies when I wrote my last post. Hence the essay.
 

upendran

New Member
Messages
14
Reaction score
0
Points
0
I know that under our Data Protection Act we cannot disclose personal information about a person who is in our records without their expressed permission.
As I said time and again, I am not asking to reveal WHO, Asking to reveal WHAT, punishing someone without revealing WHAT. It is not enough to say you violated this or that act. The culprit must be told where, when and how. There is no need to reveal any ones personal identity or violating privacy. If any law says one can be punished without saying how, when and where he has violated any law, it is invalid in any democracy which respects universal principles of fundamental right and the fundamental rights are protected by its constitution.

Please do not mix it up with your rights. Being a free service you are at full liberty to throw anyone out without quoting any reason. My comment is on the question of law only.

Corey: I fully understand your position and fully agree with you on all points except one. I continue to hold the opinion that AFTER the infringer contacts you and requests to reveal the WHAT (distinct from WHO), your refusal to disclose the WHAT part of it is unfair.

I am aware of the issues involved in dealing with a very large number of people. Even if .1% of them engage in deliberate and wanton illegal activities, it is a mammoth task to deal with.

I started the thread here in this forum instead of commenting elsewhere in the hope that you will understand my point.

Let us agree to disagree.
 
Last edited:

Corey

I Break Things
Staff member
Messages
34,553
Reaction score
203
Points
63
Regarding the what, in almost all cases the general reason is available to the user via the account panel. We do not go into exact detail as to what to specific file caused the suspension in most cases due to users modifying that exact file or just leaving that file out of their next attempt at their illegal uploads. This happened with nulled vBulletins for example. I wish .1% engaged in deliberate illegal activities, unfortunately it is over 10% thus the strict rules.
 

theone48

New Member
Messages
237
Reaction score
7
Points
0
This certainly has been one interesting conversation. I commend x10 Administration and especially Corey in their approach to politely address negative issues rather than sweep them under the rug. It seems integrity is not dead, yet. :p
 
Top