No calling out – it’s the cardinal rule of the Forums. Seems like a simple rule; it’s just three words. But, uh… what exactly is calling out and why is it so bad, really?
In essence, calling out is the act of pointing to a specific person and saying something bad about that individual. It’s like standing in the schoolyard, taunting them to put up their dukes and defend themselves. It’s spreading information that can tarnish the reputation of another community member. It’s not nice, and it’s very much not in the spirit of Etsy.
The key components of a call-out are: 1) negativity or an insult, and 2) an identifiable person as the target. Let’s examine a few scenarios:
- The classic example of calling out is to mention another user by name (or link) in a negative statement. “WhateverfaceCoInc sells mass-produced junk. Whatshisname took my money and never shipped my item!” This is the most obvious method of calling out, but not the only one.
- Posting to complain about negative or neutral feedback you gave or received is – yep, calling out. With just a few quick clicks, crafty amateur detectives can figure out exactly who you’re complaining about.
- Ranting about what someone posted elsewhere on the Forums may be deemed calling out, if it’s easily determined who is the target of the complaint.
So why is calling out such a bad thing? One reason is because reputation is really important on Etsy for both buyers and sellers. Everyone wants to maintain a good rep to show they are trustworthy in the marketplace. (Feedback is a more appropriate space to comment on another member’s transaction rep than the Forums.) Another reason calling out is not-so-hot is that it can quickly escalate into fighting. We want to keep the Forums a positive and helpful place.
Sometimes it’s tricky not to call out another member when you’re trying to get advice about a situation. In these cases, if you really want the input of your fellow Etsians on the Forums, figure out how to phrase your question in a very general way that gives no identifiable clues. Or you might try to contact one of the sellers who has has volunteered to be an unofficial mentor and get advice via private Convo. And remember, you can always contact Support by email. Etsy’s staff is here to help!
One last scenario – what about writing in the Forums to share how much you love someone’s shop or think another person is really helpful? Is it okay to say nice things about other people, even by name? Yes, totally – and in fact, please do! We fully encourage bragging about the awesomeness of your fellow Etsians. If Etsy-love is wrong, we don’t wanna be right!