Flagging when shop owners are listing something that could be potentially not allowed on Folksy
There has been a bit of a debate on the Folksy forum about some of the new shops selling items that we believe aren't allowed on Folksy. They could be items that aren't really handmade or could have been made outside the UK, they could be items that are being resold, they could be items infringing copyright etc etc.
I'm suggesting that Folksy write something in to the computer program both to let sellers know when they are listing something that might be deemed in appropriate to sell and to trawl through all the existing listings too.
Now one selling coloured contact lenses for goodness sake! Makes me so mad. Why are we expected to 'police' the site?
Crystal Clarke Jewellery commented
I think some sort of approval/vetting needs to be put in place to stop non-handmade and non-UK shops appearing straight away giving consumers the wrong impression. Folksy is UK and Handmade but consumers won't think that if inundated with shops and items that are not UK and Handmade. It will also make us genuine handmade sellers harder to find.
New shops have to apply to be included in Not on the High Street, could this be introduced on Folksy say from January 2017, so every new shop can be vetted before being allowed to actually open their shop, which will put an end to reselling, non-British Companies, copyright infringement etc. which is brininging the reputation of Folksy down, which will have an effect on sales.
I am reporting at least 3 shops per week, and that doesn't count all the copyright violators! The non-UK and non-handmade shops do tend to appear in the evening or weekends, as someone has already said. Getting a little fed up with it all.
The vast quantity of "illegal" shops makes it more challenging to get our genuine items seem. I am particularly perplexed with the "Furniture World" type shops that are here. No way are they "handmade" in the strictest sense of the word!
I like the idea of new shops being monitored, so that less detritus gets through.
I think Helen's check box might be an idea however I think if it came up every time we list an item we'd all get a bit fed up with it.
Best thing to do about the Trademark and/or copyright infringements is to report it to the legal department of the owner of the Trademark and/or copyright owners. That allows them to sort it out.
I notice there are more shops opening at weekends and evening when admin have gone home. This may be just a fluke or for some done on with intend to avoid attention from admin.
I think all new shops should be monitored by Folksy for their first few weeks..like a probationary period, to make sure they sure sticking to the rules.
margaret english commented
How many new shops are opened on a daily basis? Surely someone at Folksy could spend 1 hour a day looking into each new shop, it would be a starting point in an attempt to stamp out sellers who are ignoring the rules, or interpreting them incorrectly.
I'm an ex-programmer , and i originally posted this idea. yes I agree you would need some maintenance of the prohibited word list and to cover every single issue might be a BIG job !
I'm thinking that the programmer could start with a small area to concentrate first , maybe looking for the copyright violations , mentioning disney etc etc or looking for the items not made in the UK. The simpler stuff that might not cause an issue.
Joy Salt commented
But it is important that if the system is changed to flag potential violations it should also allow it to be overridden.
Imagine if you had a shop owner called Sally Frozen who was not allowed to set up any listing mentioning her name !
Or if someone wanted to add a note to their listing that an ingredient had been frozen before use.
As an ex-programmer I think this would be a far more extensive enhancement than non-programming Folksy folk might imagine and would potentially require ongoing maintenance of the prohibited word list.
Yes , there will be quite a few sellers that don't read the rules and think they can just list anything. Just mentioning some of the rules whilst they are listing will make them think more about what they are doing. This could also cover things like "Have you had you item CE tested" for handmade kids toys and "Is the Copyright on this pattern allowing you to sell the finished article?" for hand knitted / crocheted items
Helen Smith commented
Adding my comment from the discussion:
Even just adding a checkbox to the listing procedure might cause people to stop and think; something along the lines of 'if you are using an image in your work which is not your own (eg Disney etc etc) please confirm that you have the necessary license to do so' - wouldn't take much coding I don't think?
It's not going to stop the hardcore copyright stealer but it might help stop those who simply don't realise it's wrong.
Could it not be a requirement in the conditions of listing that if you're using a Trademarked image (Disney etc), you have to state in your listing maybe that you have a license to do so. Failure to state your permission to use such things would then be a cause for reporting them and they could be challenged?
Just adding my comment from discussion thread " I like thinking behind the idea but that might be massively complicated to programme ref: checking site and external listings/external sources/images used elsewhere - also implications on site performance and listing time if a large lookup/reference check were made each time a listing was set up . However simple check against ' dubious terms' like Disney / Frozen in the title or the tags might well be very doable - although it's still requires administration overhead to keep up to date.
Tighter controls at point when shop sets up might be equally effective ( quicker to implement?) - eg. postcode validation, compulsory 'about the owner' info , product development photos . It might be just annoying enough to put off the 'chancers' !
Muppets, Banksy, Toy Story, Pinocchio, Betty Boop, Doctor Who, Star Trek, Star Wars, Spiderman, Batman...one shop Is ripping off ALL of these......... Getting an advantage over those of us who produce our own designs.