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The Pros and Cons of "Outing" Someone

Discussion in 'Beer Trading Talk' started by Bluecane, Feb 14, 2013.

  1. Bluecane

    Bluecane Initiate (0) Dec 30, 2011 New York

    The recent spike in "Bad Trader" threads, particularly ones where the original poster withholds the purported bad trader's name for some time, has gotten me thinking about the relative benefits and harms of outing the bad trader or not. The purpose is this thread is to generate discussion.......and to get on a soapbox (who am I kidding? ;))

    There are 4 basic scenarios, as I see it:

    A. You out someone and they were indeed a bad trader. In this situation, you greatly benefit the community and possibly multiple people who may otherwise get duped. Further, faith in the community is boosted, as people have faith that the other BAs will help them scope out bad traders.

    B. You out someone and they were actually NOT a bad trader. In this situation, you do not benefit the community. In fact, you may negatively and unfairly impact someone's reputation. However, if there is a legitimate explanation, then they will avoid the bad trader list, and it's likely that many people will read that explanation and be okay with it.

    It's possible that some people will miss the explanation. However, what are the odds that that group of potential traders has a tangible impact on the originally-purported-to-be bad trader's odds of completing a trade? With as large as this community is, I would say the odds of that are quite slim. In any case, if the person continues to be a solid trader and gains references, that could overcome some peoples' (miscalculated) bad impressions of that trader.

    C. You do not out someone, and they were indeed a bad trader. In this situation, the community is significantly greatly harmed in 2 key ways. First, the bad trader may continue "trading" and harming other traders thereby. Second [and more arguably], traders getting jobbed negatively impacts the entire community psyche. Sure, getting jobbed teaches the jobbed trader a valuable lesson to be careful, but I'd like to think they can eventually learn this without getting burned, at least in many cases.

    D. You do not out someone, and they were NOT actually a bad trader. This looks like the classic no harm, no foul situation.

    Overall, and quite logically, it's better to out the trader if they turn out to be a bad trader, and it's better to not out them if they were actually a misunderstood good trader. However, I believe that when you consider the relative magnitude of the pros and cons, the benefits of outing somebody heavily outweigh the costs. Correctly outing a bad trader is a huge plus, while incorrectly outing a bad trader is a fairly small minus. If you don't out a bad trader, then that's a huge minus, while not outing an actually-good trader has essentially a zero value.

    TL; DR version: The impact is much more severe if you don't report a bad trader than if you do report a good trader. You should of course consider your own interests, and I hope to start that discussion! Bottom line: start outing more people once they act suspiciously!
    Krumb and Photekut like this.
  2. Bradystraps

    Bradystraps Initiate (0) Jan 24, 2013 Connecticut
    Beer Trader

    E. You post about a suspicious bad trader who in-turn outs himself, either from pride of wanting to redeem himself or, sheer stupidity/ego.
    Centennial and dachshunddude86 like this.
  3. mikecharley

    mikecharley Disciple (399) Nov 6, 2008 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    I had to start a "potential bad trader thread" once. I didn't out the person, and there was a good reason for the thread. It can be used as a very effective tool for getting someone to ship.

    Me: Hey, you see that angry mob over there?
    Him: yeah, why?
    Me: They are going to find out you are the reason for their anger if you don't ship my beer.
    Him: Ok, will have it out asap!
  4. rowingbrewer

    rowingbrewer Champion (841) May 28, 2010 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

    I think there should be a standard procedure for a bad trader thread.
    1 they miss the ship date agreed upon by 2 weeks (time can vary)
    2 you give them an ultimatum that you will out them if they don't get you a trackin number within 2 days
    3 create the bad trader thread no bs just post the name and someone they know will likely prod them and hopefully it works

    I realize it will not always be so cut and dry. But maybe oldport could chime in with his $.02. Just as you can't file a missing persons report for at least 24 hours maybe a bad trader alert needs a minimum amount of time and some basic procedure so we don't start chopping of innocent peoples heads
  5. MarkIntihar

    MarkIntihar Initiate (0) Mar 17, 2010 Michigan

    Oh good, just what we need, encouragement for more negativity in the trade forums...
  6. celticfutblclub

    celticfutblclub Initiate (0) Aug 10, 2010 Massachusetts

    I want to out mcbeerbrew. He hasn't replied to our trade in 24 hours and I crunched the numbers and there is an 18% chance hes a bad trader.

    Am I doing this right?
  7. bryanole27

    bryanole27 Aspirant (227) Jun 24, 2011 North Carolina

    I see what the OP is getting at and I would agree. And even if you hold a bad trade thread over someone to get them to ship, aren't they still a bad trader? I know I wouldn't want to trade with that person. If we want the bahavior to stop, then there has to be meaningful consequences. I say the community should err on the side of OVER REPORTING, that way the community can be the judge and jury. If the thread is legit, bad trader is identified. If it isn't legit, OP of said thread will be called out and maybe learn a thing or two along the way.

    Plus, it isn't like the community doesn't like bad trader threads:)
  8. Rempo

    Rempo Initiate (0) Jan 18, 2010 Indiana

    You are assuming that the OP of a bad trader thread should be looking out for what's best for the community, when they might (should?) be more interested in looking out for themselves. No math here, but naming names and releasing the bored-today-and-need-some-excitement-BA-mob on someone may very well cause that someone to never send the box out at all.
  9. Krumb

    Krumb Initiate (94) Jan 30, 2008 Texas
    Beer Trader


    if they didn't ship, and you had to create a vague thread about them, then they shipped, and you never let us know who they are...they are a bad trader that someone else here will have to deal with. i don't understand how so many here don't get this.

    *hits head on wall*
    Photekut and bryanole27 like this.
  10. MarkIntihar

    MarkIntihar Initiate (0) Mar 17, 2010 Michigan

    Yeah but bro, at least the "community" is "protected" now. Who cares if the OP doesn't get his beers, AT LEAST I WON'T GET BURNED NOW!!!!11!!!1!1!!!1
    FTowne, Jparkanzky and AnnArborJoe like this.
  11. Rempo

    Rempo Initiate (0) Jan 18, 2010 Indiana

    Well, the gawkers in the community are just looking out for themselves as well. It makes sense.
    MarkIntihar likes this.
  12. quirkzoo

    quirkzoo Initiate (0) Jul 7, 2011 Colorado

    18% DICK MOVE
    Lutter and celticfutblclub like this.
  13. MarkIntihar

    MarkIntihar Initiate (0) Mar 17, 2010 Michigan

    I agree, but under the pretense of "protecting the community". Funny thing to me is that the OP is also a part of the "community" but very few people seem to give a shit about him getting the beers he's owed as long as the "guilty" party is outed.
  14. dachshunddude86

    dachshunddude86 Initiate (0) Dec 21, 2012 Florida

    I've often seen the community step up and try to right the wrong. Usually it is a friend of the bad trader who has a better shot of getting the beers back from their friend. They essentially buy the debt from the harmed trader and go after it themselves. Other times random good Samaritans have stepped up to the plate and sent free beer or really lop sided trades.
  15. MarkIntihar

    MarkIntihar Initiate (0) Mar 17, 2010 Michigan

    No doubt, but the people who typically step up are most often not the people who clamor for names to be posted. That was more my point.
    crushedvol likes this.
  16. dachshunddude86

    dachshunddude86 Initiate (0) Dec 21, 2012 Florida

    Gotcha, now I'm picking up what you're laying down.
    crushedvol and MarkIntihar like this.
  17. ant880

    ant880 Initiate (0) Nov 7, 2010 New York

    Is OP actually Ozzie Guillen? Those percentages have that odd "this totally makes sense to me and no one else" feel of the "I love Fidel Castro" press conference he gave
  18. sandiego67

    sandiego67 Initiate (0) Feb 25, 2008 California

    Can we make it mandatory that any suspected Bad traders wear a t-shirt with a big Scarlet A on it to all events involving beer?

  19. Bad_Trader

    Bad_Trader Initiate (0) Nov 8, 2012 Namibia

    From now on I'm not going to say "Give him more time" I'm going to say "Give him an extra 15% or so"
  20. sandiego67

    sandiego67 Initiate (0) Feb 25, 2008 California

    What if the suspected bad trader only ships 13% of the beer. Or, what if they only ship 13% of the time?
  21. Shagtastic

    Shagtastic Initiate (0) Jul 30, 2011 Indiana

    You didn't even use proper latex markup...
    JulianB, quirkzoo and mcaulifww like this.
  22. Bluecane

    Bluecane Initiate (0) Dec 30, 2011 New York

    I love you guys. I just wanted to start a discussion about when it's right to out someone or not, since the "There's a Bad Trader But I'm Not Going to Release His/Her Name" threads always devolve into a discussion of whether or not it's right to out the trader.

    The math part was somewhat for my own amusement, but I was just throwing out some numbers to get an idea for how the thought process should look. I invite anyone to disagree with the numbers or even how I'm thinking about it. Starting a discussion was the idea; any and all jokes and comments are of course welcome!
  23. Bluecane

    Bluecane Initiate (0) Dec 30, 2011 New York

    I'm just misunderstood man. I just meant I respect how bad traders pull it off. :p
    ant880 likes this.
  24. Bluecane

    Bluecane Initiate (0) Dec 30, 2011 New York

    I'm not encouraging negativity for the heck of it, nor am I ignoring the positives. I'm just trying to figure out the right balance (at least in abstract terms :D, since it's always case-by-base), which includes all the aspects.

    And if I'm encouraging "negativity", it's for a legitimate reason. But I will agree that my "bottom line" is probably a bit much, as it's obviously not a closed case.
  25. Bluecane

    Bluecane Initiate (0) Dec 30, 2011 New York

    That's fair, and that's actually what I set out to do -- figure out how stuff relates to the bad trader and the community. I essentially assumed no effect on the "bad trader." It's hard for me to predict how the "bad trader" would react if there name is released, but I'm sure others have more experience and insight, and I'm curious to hear those. It may cause them to never send a box at all, but it may also cause them to send it (or send it back at least, as with CJS).
  26. mcbeerbrew

    mcbeerbrew Initiate (0) Feb 9, 2011 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    Is this similar to a DICK TRAIN?
    FTowne, MarkIntihar, quirkzoo and 2 others like this.
  27. huskermike12

    huskermike12 Initiate (0) Nov 14, 2011 Vermont

    True story ... I actually cut into a can on the last box you sent me. Made it easier to shotgun though.
  28. quirkzoo

    quirkzoo Initiate (0) Jul 7, 2011 Colorado

    OP conveniently did not responded to this.

    I feel a bad poster thread coming on.
    FTowne, mcaulifww, mcbeerbrew and 4 others like this.
  29. Bluecane

    Bluecane Initiate (0) Dec 30, 2011 New York

    I really didn't start this thread with my own individual interests at heart, at least not consciously. FWIW, I've shipped 5 trades in 14 months, so many others have much more at stake.

    You're right that the person on the other side of a possible bad trader can and should value their own interests. I don't know if I forgot to include that in my original post or deliberately excluded it because it's hard to estimate. But I would also encourage others to put a high value on the community; that people actually do that is, in my experiences, a big part of what makes this place/community great.

    It's always a case-by-case basis. This was certainly abstract, but I just hoped to start a discussion that informed the analysis. I will admit that my post implies too much of a focus on the math results, and on further review that's not what I would want. If I could direct the focus of the conversation -- and lord knows I certainly can't -- I would want it to center on the 4 scenarios as well as the odds that certain actions will or will not get the OP his beer.
    MarkIntihar likes this.
  30. Bluecane

    Bluecane Initiate (0) Dec 30, 2011 New York

    The joke just went over my head! I'm not the funniest guy, and if you don't believe me, just ask my Posts:Likes ratio. Of course, that might just be due to posts like my first one in here.
  31. abecall98

    abecall98 Devotee (442) Aug 11, 2007 California
    Beer Trader

    I'm not gonna read all this.
    Bluecane and Shilt like this.
  32. warrenout330

    warrenout330 Initiate (0) Oct 19, 2012 Ohio

    Generally speaking, there should be a general rule when it comes to ship dates and tracking numbers being produced. Also with the amount of excuses for late ship dates .... there should be a common rule to all that. Mind you there is always things that innlofe that are not controllable. Life is life, shit happens! So which brings me to my point, you out someone, the community is aware of what happened. Good job, you've protected everyone but your still out of beer. Unless someone steps up and buys their debt or some "old school"feels pity. Outing someone doesn't do anything in my opinion, lets say they just make another account or 2 or 5? What really needs to be done is a complete shut down from there IP address and a complete shun from the BA community...but how could this be accomplished?
  33. Bluecane

    Bluecane Initiate (0) Dec 30, 2011 New York

    This is exactly the kind of stuff I'm getting at. I totally didn't consider the "new account" stuff, which complicates stuff further. But I'm also hoping to get at a "general rule."

    For the record, I asked for the mods to delete the "math" portion, as I think it's mostly counterproductive, especially since it's definitely underparameterized.
  34. quirkzoo

    quirkzoo Initiate (0) Jul 7, 2011 Colorado

    Not a joke, that critique came from someone with a Master's degree in mathematics. He is critiquing the methodology upon which your conclusions were drawn.

    Srs that you did not use proper latex markup, not srs that it matters.
    Bluecane likes this.
  35. warrenout330

    warrenout330 Initiate (0) Oct 19, 2012 Ohio

    I believe there really should be a rule book written up with guidelines to trading .... but than again, that's a lot of work? We would all have to agree upon every rule and every guide line. Could this really happen?
  36. SubpoenaDeuces

    SubpoenaDeuces Initiate (0) Feb 3, 2011 California

    Didnt Thrasymachus already address this in book 3 of the Republic?
  37. Sarlacc83

    Sarlacc83 Initiate (0) Mar 2, 2008 Oregon

    You're thinking of the Prima Secunda in the Summa Theologica with further references to the fourth level of Dante's Inferno.
    lurchingbeast likes this.
  38. kbuzz

    kbuzz Crusader (785) Jan 22, 2011 North Carolina
    Beer Trader

    OP gives new meaning to the term "beer geek" :D
  39. claaark13

    claaark13 Zealot (504) Nov 29, 2007 Indiana
    Beer Trader

    All of these bad trader threads (and now analyses) is making this forum my least favorite on BA. That's sad, because 2012 Beer Trading/General Help forum and I had some good times together.
  40. Bluecane

    Bluecane Initiate (0) Dec 30, 2011 New York

    26 years and counting, my friend! The geek part, anyway.
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