by Mike Masnick
Tue, May 20th 2008 11:36am
Back in February, you may recall that eBay announced plans to ban negative feedback from sellers to buyers. The problem was that many sellers were apparently using it as a weapon against buyers who might criticize them. That is, if you had a bad experience as a buyer, rather than fix the problems that resulted in that bad experience, the seller would simply slam you back in the buyer feedback. In other words, it had become something of a nuclear stalemate -- forcing buyers to be too afraid to leave any negative feedback for sellers. Of course, banning negative feedback on buyers seems a bit extreme as the response. And, in the comments to our post, people suggested a variety of alternatives eBay could have tried (including not letting you see the feedback someone left for you until you leave feedback for them). In the meantime, sellers who are upset about this may now have another weapon. One site has set up a system for sellers to share their own buyer "blacklists," effectively creating a large list of problem buyers. What's most interesting to me, is how this shows how the community itself responds to a change in the rules that they feel has too many negative consequences -- rather than just waiting for eBay to fix the problem.
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