Thursday, February 25, 2010

My first ProZ ban

A thread of mine has been banned from ProZ (I confess, I like spending some time there, reading and participating in the discussion threads).

My original post was deemed in breach of the catch-all rule # 1 (“The forums are provided solely for discussions within's scope”). Since that scope is then as broad as it is ill defined, the rule could be interpreted as “anything can be banned if we feel like it”.

My post was a gentle poke at all those Italian translators who think that the institution of an “Albo dei traduttori” would be a miraculous cure for all translation ills, from low rates to late payments. Never mind that they never explain exactly how the “Albo dei Traduttori” would cure those ills, never mind that it has very little chance of actually being instituted, and never mind that, even if it were, in the form it has been proposed it would very likely soon be found to violate UE anti-trust laws and regulations.
I sent to the ProZ staff member who decided to ban the thread the following message:
What exactly was in breach of the rules in my (off-topic) post about the Italian "Albo dei traduttori"? It was lighthearted satire, contained no profanity, no politics, no personal attacks against anybody, and was germane to the discussion in the Italian forum (where some translators see the institution of an "Albo dei traduttori" as a panacea for all translation woes).
I imagine you won't answer, since the site's rules are fuzzy enough that something can always be found in breach of this or that purposely ill-defined and overbroad rule, but I would really like to know what was so offensive about the thread.
I don’t expect the message to be answered, of course.


"I sent to the moderator..." corrected to "I sent to the ProZ staff member...", as it was not an Italian forum moderator who quashed the thread, but a member of the ProZ staff.


  1. Albo dei traduttori ...
    I was already a member of the "albo dei veterinari", an unuseful carrozzone (inefficient public office) and I have had enough of it!

    Luckily, there are very few chances that an "albo dei traduttori" will be born

  2. Irony is dead. Again.
    And I toast to its passing with a cup of ice cream (Coppa del Nonno, that is!)


  3. Ah, you have now experienced the power of censorship! Wear it like a badge of honor. I rarely participate in any of the discussions, but it will certainly be interesting how the petition will play out.

  4. Unbelievable :-( It was one of the funniest threads in ages...


  5. Why not try and have some fun here (sorry: it's in Italian)

    and see if we manage to repeat the exploit without being censored, and even render explicity ridiculous censorship per se.

  6. Still in ProZ? This is unbelievable.

  7. I'm pretty sure those who felt offended by your funny thread are the same people supporting the creation of the Register without having the slightest idea of how it could possibly help us and, most of all, without being aware of the fuss&tuss it would bring about (I wanted to post an image of a vintage dishwasher saying it was the ultimate weapon a possible interpreters'/translators' register could use to get rid of slapdash professionals, if you remember, but I couldn't).
    @Luigi: yes, it's unbelievable we're still in proz. I could clearly realize the atmosphere there (especially in the Italian community) became tenser and tenser over 2009 and things ain't getting any better in my humble opinion - and Riccardo's thread being censored just supports this feeling of mine.

  8. No sooner said than done!!
    Am I mistaken, or has Andrea's thread been banned as well?? I can't see it anymore...

  9. Yes, my thread has indeed been deleted.
    Have sent this message to the site staff... looking forward to their reply:)



    in relation to the thread I have just opened in the Italian forum, if, as you say, should have been posted elsewhere, why didn't you just move it leaving a trace there for everybody to see? As now it is hidden, how am I supposed to post it where it would be deemed legal? And where would that be??
    Besides, why post where nobody would know what I am talking about, as opposed to where everybody knows full well what I am referring to? Why this increasingly pervasive censorship?

    Look forward to your reply.
    Please refrain from replying altogether if all you are going to give me is the standard pre-prepared reply you give out in circumstances like this.


    Andrea (whose thread from the Italian forum on ProZ has just been deleted because violated rule 14: posted where it wasn't supposed to be posted, or something like that)

  10. Whoops... sorry... rule 11

  11. You are not mistaken Cecilia. It is gone. And this time the rule that was violated is hilarious.
    Rule n. 11: "Forums should not be used for issues that have dedicated areas in the site".
    Maybe the other areas are support tickets? I see: Andrea's mistake was posing a question in his title... so maybe they thought he wanted an answer from the staff... hahaha very funny

  12. And here is my support ticket. Do you think they will catch the sarcasm?

    Two apparently irregular forum removals
    Dear staff,

    I already wrote to Jared two days ago on the first thread that was removed, asking him to specify the reasons, since I didn't seem to see them, but received no answer. I imagine he must be very busy, so I am trying again through a support ticket.

    Today, again, I receive an email from Lucia, announcing the removal of yet another thread because in violation of forum rule n. 11 .

    Maybe my English is not so good lately (strange though: I translate legal texts from English quite often), but I really don't see how the two threads in question have violated any rules.

    Being (still) a paying member of this site, could I please have a clarification on how and why the two threads have violated any rules. If I understand, maybe I could avoid repeating the same error again....

    The details:
    1) Thread "Off-topic ... finalmente ottenuto l'albo" rule n. 1
    2) Thread "Censura??? impossibile!! Ma cos'altro può essere?" rule n. 11

  13. I was fairly sure that this would happen to Andrea's thread as well. Well, let's see if the Watercooler ( is a more welcoming environment. Several of our colleagues have already joined there, and at first sight it does look like a less stifling kind of place.

    What is it? Some sort of Facebook lookalike? Had a quick look, but do I really want to learn how to use it? :(
    The forum on Proz is convenient as I can just have a quick look at it and post if I so wish... very idiot proof (as long as you don't get quashed).

    Besides, it is not in Italian:(:(

  15. I haven't used it yet, only lurked a bit. I know there is an Italian group there, so I don't think it should be a problem having some threads in Italian as well. There are few users so far, I think, because it has just started. I got the name of the Watercooler from Kevin Loessner, who was having this same sort of problems on ProZ from the German forum.

  16. Is ProZ paying you or are you paying ProZ (for a service, I presume)? In this second case, all this is an enormous waste of time: simply stop using ProZ, and paying for services you apparently can't get. Are so many professional translators not capable of resourcing to anythings else in Web 2.0 era? Or maybe ProZ has become such a Big Brother to keep all those people chained and under control? So far, I have never heard any colleague of mine saying s/he collected (very) good jobs from ProZ, on the contrary, there are so many people moaning about rates and jobs that I really can't realize why they do not simply quit, give up or even leave ProZ. Boh!

  17. Ciao Luigi,

    I'm paying ProZ, mostly for the full access to the "Blue Board", to check on prospective customers. As regards the forums, my participation is strictly for my own amusement, to spend some time talking with other colleagues.

    I've never considered the ProZ job area as a serious source of jobs - but a few good customers have found me through my ProZ profile.

  18. I don't participate in ProZ except to look for terminology ideas. Translators are one of the worst professions for backbiting and petty, vicious competition. Paper-thin egos, degreeism, no market respect and nit-picking natures. Ick! The minute you organise them, they start clawing over top of one another like crabs in a barrel. With the recession, they have become hungrier, and their behaviour even worse.

    1. Oh, brother, just came across this response - I could have said it myself!

      Same with me - I just use it for terminology.

  19. lol... LOL... ROFL!!! I'm soooo glad I deleted my FREE membership to that site... seemed a bit odd... couldn't put my finger on it... just odd...

  20. I do think Proz is becoming very arbitrary. And very unprofessional too. A few weeks ago my employee (we are a small translation team) logged into Proz from our master computer which I normally use and without any warning Proz has blocked my account and erased my colleague's account. I still cannot believe a site that poses as a site for professionals would act so unprofessionally.
    This really made me angry since an arbitrary action like this has a potential to have impact on people's business (not that we use it to search for jobs, but some people still do). Is there an alternative? Can we just leave and move somewhere else?


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