Posted on: May 12, 2011 11:46 am

What CBS doesn't want us to know... or do

===   What CBS doesn't want us to know... or do  ===

Let's cut to the core of the matter:

The message board site code is a mess, many users have complained but CBS is in no rush to fix things... unless users push the issue.

  • Beta site fiasco
  • Expanding browser glitchs
  • Posting delays, errors and misleading messages
  • Refresh bounces to random pages
  • Cookie and page script overload
  • HMTL miscoded to "can't read" pages
  • Thread list clogged with player page and article comments
  • Reputation system "broken... serving no useful purpose"
  • Post scores don't apply to user value or recognition
  • Blank posts as site doesn't work with IE9 and other brower versions
CBS has said:
 - It may dump the "faster" beta site
 - The value system is "broken and no longer serving a useful purpose"
 - The admins have repeated that CBS remains "unwavering in it's stance" to make no fix before some future total revision

Is this really the way CBS wants to treat the userbase it seeks to attract and also be seen by sponsors, clients, shareholders and the public?   We all share a place we care about and the unified voice of all of us is the only way to move CBS.

What changes do you really want right now?
Post your voice here to be heard and make a difference - it's a feedback board, not just for questions - CBS can't hide from the users it depends on.  Tell CBS to do the right thing now.  If you are already fed up and don't need more, post your voice here now. If you are curious, read on and then post to tell CBS we all deserve better.


The basics on one example:  the broken reputation system

CBS knows the reputation system is broken, refuses to fix it, misleads users about it and permits abuse.

The more fitting term for this is Fraud.

The business model:

  • Users come to CBSSports.com for 2 things: content and the connection with others
  • CBS provides resources in exchange for traffic, getting lots of free content and the attraction of the community that the userbase becomes as it grows
  • It's a barter arrangement - and as incentive, the currency users are paid in is reputation
  • Reputation gives users a status and defines levels of privilege (and sanctions for misbehavior)
  • So it's both the badge users strive for and the sheriff as well
CBS benefits in the exchange:

  • CBS benefits from the discussions, imported news and articles, and the banter that attracts users and keeps them coming back
  • CBS benefits from the site hits in ad revenue, merchandising, and fantasy fees
  • CBS benefits from the volume, referrals and repeated return of users   
But users are misled:

  • CBS tells them one version about how they keep score but delivers quite another
  • CBS enjoys the benefit of their contributions but pays off in counterfeit currency
  • CBS "scores" each post, promotes it's "value", prominently displays it but doesn't credit the user/author despite what they imply
  • CBS acknowledges the system "..is broken and no longer serving a useful purpose" but continues to use it anyway
  • CBS doesn't alter it's FAQ however - it just perpetuates the deception
  • CBS admins are fully aware that nefarious users abuse other users via the system, but continue to allow it anyway
  • CBS asks for patience while looking at other options but remains "unwavering in it's stance" to make no fix, however small or temporary
Fraud is defined as dishonesty calculated for advantage and proved with 5 elements:

  1. A false statement of a material fact = the provided FAQ's definition of the reputation system as CBS's promise to users,
  2. Knowledge on the part of CBS that the statement is untrue = the admission "the system is broken" and serves no useful purpose,
  3. Intent on the part of CBS to deceive the users = offering the FAQ while knowing it is incorrect and doing nothing to fix the system,
  4. Justifiable reliance by the users on the statement = continually sending users back to the FAQ despite admins knowing it misrepresents the actual system now in place,
  5. Injury to the users as a result = admitted abuse of ratings to attack users, distortion of site privileges, inaccurate ratings of status,
  6. and in addition,  ... knowing and saying nothing is no defense:  "...when a person has a duty to speak, silence may be treated as a false statement."
Is this really the way CBS wants to treat the userbase it seeks to attract and also be seen by sponsors, clients, shareholders and the public?

In simple terms, what all this adds up to is a stunning admission of how little CBS is committed to the userbase here while at the same time being perfectly happy to benefit from their contributions and the cha-ching of the ad revenue from their site hits.  I am submitting this with the sincere hope that someone in authority will finally decide to do the right thing.  Say yes to the fix.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com