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TSG - The new sub-contractor in tech?

Discussion in 'Site Help, Feedback, & Announcements' started by DoubleHelix, Apr 29, 2010.

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  1. DoubleHelix

    DoubleHelix Banned Thread Starter

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    I don't spend much time in the malware forums, but I know they're busy. How does TSG feel about its volunteers helping to clean malware infections for people getting paid to fix computers? It irritates the heck out of me, and I'm not even doing the work. I have a problem with people volunteering their time so others can profit from it.
     
  2. 1002richards

    1002richards Retired Trusted Advisor

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    Hopefully they'll feel grateful enough to make a donation to this site from their fees, and maybe make contributions to threads in which they can offer help to others.
     
  3. ekim68

    ekim68

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    Although I know where you're coming from DoubleHelix, TechGuy has fulfilled his mission, eh? ;) And, aren't we all much better because of it? :cool:
     
  4. jmw3

    jmw3 Malware Specialist

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    Hello DoubleHelix
    I obviously can't speak for the site or the other Yellow/Blue shields, but personally I will refuse to help any 'professional' that posts for help in the Malware forum & then have the nerve to charge their customers for our work. I think that is completely unethical.
    And I think you'll find most of the other known Malware forums will have some type of policy in place to stop this happening.
     
  5. Elvandil

    Elvandil

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    If they are really "professionals", then presumably they could do a passable job of cleaning themselves. They are just passing off their paid work to others, possibly flooding our resources, getting paid for the work of our malware cleaners, and saving themselves time. It's not right. But if they do, in fact, make a reasonable donation, then it should be up to each helper to decide if they want to participate. But I'm not talking $5 here--I mean a sum in keeping with what they are getting paid for the forum's work.

    A lot of people come here simply because they really can't afford to go to a shop and get things fixed. Most appreciate what they are getting. But the pros are basically asking us to work for free and then they get paid for it. They get a double benefit. It is never the "mission" of volunteers to be exploited.
     
  6. TechGuy

    TechGuy Administrator

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    To be clear, I'm OK with professionals asking tech questions here -- after all, even pros don't have all of the answers all of the time. :)

    However, I also agree that malware removal is a special case in that all of the work -- and time consuming work at that -- is actually being done by the volunteers at the site. I'd be OK with adding a rule (if we don't already have it?)... but I'm not sure exactly how it should be phrased. I'm also concerned that it could be difficult to enforce. I'd fear automatically jumping to the conclusion that someone is abusing the services when in fact it's only a home user with multiple computers... When we suspect abuse, I think we need to approach it carefully and not jump to conclusions. However, if it is a pro, and especially if they're charging someone, they need kicked out (or more ;) ).
     
  7. antech

    antech Banned

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    IMHO,
    Donations should be a must for FREQUENT MALWARE POSTER's.
     
  8. new tech guy

    new tech guy

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    Hm i never thought of this aspect. I know some people who do work for people and cut plenty of corners which i feel strongly against (for instance doing work for small companies and knowingly using illicit copies of windows/office/etc. When you do work like that, and think about what could happen if your caught, its just best to bite your tongue and play by the rules. After all, you cant blame a business for being profitable. That is the sheer definition of business) however im not sure how you would check whether a person is an individual or a company. Most people ive seen on here who offer services however most of the time may have a plug in their signature line or profile about their service/business. Sure you could add a form, but it could be falsified. Finally as stated, i do not disagree with someone who offers services coming in and asking for help with something they may have never worked on before or an issue that they are not too familiar with. Heck, alot of what i know now with computers i learned from the internet. Basically a combination of trial and error and asking questions here in the forums, and i still ask questions occasionally about things that im just unsure about. But i do agree that people should not be able to profit from a volunteer service. However on the same hand it sounds like an assumed risk the helper takes. Just like sports. Dont wanna see anyone get hurt but it happens. Assumed risk.
     
  9. jmw3

    jmw3 Malware Specialist

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    One sign that raises suspicion that you may be dealing with a professional is a user who regularly posts to a malware removal forum & the logs they post show signs of a different computer each time they seek help.

    I have absolutely no problem with that either, but I think those queries should be kept to a forum other than the Malware Removal forum. And if the person asking the question is a professional tech working on someone else's PC, they should be up front about it.
     
  10. antech

    antech Banned

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    Good point ,jmw3
     
  11. win2kpro

    win2kpro

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    I don't see this as a large scale problem although I know that it does exist, not only in the malware forum, but also in hardware and very likely in other forums.

    About 60% of my business is data recovery and malware removal. For my clients I don't really have the time it takes to go to the malware forum to solve a problem. Most of my clients want to bring the machine in today, and get it back tomorrow.

    In hardware, I made a list of the people I "suspect" are commercially engaged and don't offer these "repeat" posters help. Some of the "repeat" posters in hardware even have links to their "repair" services in their signature, and in the thread will sometimes say something to the affect of; "I'm working on a client's machine", etc.

    While even the most experienced builder/repairer may have to ask for help or suggestions from time to time, they don't do it on a regular basis. When I observe someone posting in hardware on a regular basis involving different machines, to me it is obvious that they are working commercially, therefore I don't reply to their questions.
     
  12. Elvandil

    Elvandil

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    After all, how many individuals really have more than 5 or 6 machines at most? Really. Even in unusual cases. Hoarders?
     
  13. JohnWill

    JohnWill Retired Moderator

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    Let's see... We have four laptops and seven desktop workstations here, along with a host of NAS boxes and a few printers. ;)
     
  14. new tech guy

    new tech guy

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    Sounds kinda like my home, much less desktops though. I have 4 laptops, and a fifth but its a guinea pig and i broke somthing else on it so it may even be scrapped soon (was retired due to a power problem on the motherboard) and two desktops, both desktops are beige boxes with one being the home server box i converted the machine to and another beige that im just sitting on/use it in case i need to do something and my primary laptop took a holiday which will be the next machine i convert to a home server in a linux move thus scrapping the other beige.

    In any event usually i do not need much help with my own machines and as already posted most that come in are for malware removal where the user does not want to wait forever to get their machine back, to that end in most cases ive learned its best to just take an image of said infected hd, copy user data (image is just so we have a safety net if anything is missed) then just reinstall windows. Its a be all-end all for malware infections and never fails. Im still not sure why people want to clean malware as you then assume the risk of overlooking something or having somthing missed. For the record, im not doubting the malware removal team here as they do a very detailed and extensive job but for the average shop its just impractical to clean every machine that comes in.
    Finally, im really just unsure how to check somthing like this through the forum. I guess its just up to the poster to make their own judgement :confused:
     
  15. sflwebguy

    sflwebguy

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    I for one own my own PC business that has a vast range of things I do, with that being said I have a strong ethical value bot in life and in business. If I were to post anything that is work related I will indeed donate to this site. Now this may seem like big talk from a new user, so you may take it anyway you like.
    I will also send my customers here as well, because I often try to guide them to sites that will help educate them in the pc field.
     
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