faq-ownership [Jcink.com Wiki]

FAQ - Board Ownership

Our service has very a stringent policy on how we treat ownership of a board. The user who creates the board “owns” the board for its lifetime and the owner cannot be changed by anyone else except us. There are no controls to take power away from the root admin #1 just for this reason alone. What this really means is that the administrator is safeguarded from admins, users, or anyone else trying to social engineer us into giving them access that is not warranted. We will not act upon a board in terms of restoration or administrative access based on a what a co-administrator says, a member says, or a moderator says. Only the board owner, or original/current registrant that we have on file has a say in such matters.

Unfortunately, we also know that just because someone is a root administrator doesn't mean that they are fit for the position or have the boards best interests in mind. Despite this, they still own the board, and we choose not to get involved. Below are various situations that have been asked of us and the responses were posted below.

Root admin is missing in action

There could be various reasons why a root admin has gone missing; but none of them will bend us to hand over their power to someone else. It's possible they no longer have connectivity, they fell seriously ill, or a number of other possible situations. We realize this can be detrimental to a site's survival and security if this extends into months or even a year, but that does not make the property any less theirs.

If a root admin has gone missing, you need to try to contact them via any avenue you have and just wait for a response. If you fail to get a response in a reasonable time frame (i.e. several months of inactivity, dead to the world) then it may be time to start thinking about moving the community to a new board with a solid, reliable registrant.

Root admin barely does anything

So you have a dead-beat root administrator that doesn't do any work or manage the community. There could be various reasons for their inactivity or lack of work ethic, but either way it's up to them whether they want to be lazy or not. If they have people willing to work for them while they don't do anything, they're just going to keep doing so. The bottom line is that even though they may not put in much of the work at all, they still own the site in name and their presence solidifies it. It's perhaps unfair that everyone else does all the work while they don't do anything but workloads don't necessarily equal ownership either. They still own the board.

If you have a dead-beat root administrator, they could just be bored of their site, or worse, they enjoy having the power without actually having to do anything. Only you can fix this - stop working so much for them and demand change, their community will quickly go downhill without you anyway if really they are not putting in any effort at all.

Root admin gave account away, wants it back

Sometimes a root administrator decides they don't want a board anymore and they hand over the root account to a co-admin or a user. This is not a bad thing, but this type of thing needs to be confirmed and set in stone with us before it's done or else the transaction means nothing. They can come back at any time because they have the ability to request ownership restoration as the title to the board is still in their name/email address.

When this happens it's hypothetically the equivalence of a home or apartment owner deciding to just give their abode away to their room mate without any paperwork, tossing the key to them and saying “here you go, you own it.” Room mate fixes up the place and keeps things going. Later, homeowner returns and says they want the place back, they changed their mind. Room mate is screwed because they didn't actually ever own it to begin with.

There is really nothing we can do to help you here; it's a tough situation to be in. You have to try to calmly speak to them and state your case. It's possible you could come to some sort of compromise where you could have actual ownership of the site, and they can be a moderator or co-admin for a while.

Root admin is only there because they registered it

This is another bad to be in because even though you may have been the original board owner, by allowing them to register the board for you on our service, you've allowed them to essentially put the title to it in their name. We understand how this happens - a friend at the time or even member registers a board to show off all the features and then administrators make accounts on it and fall in love with our service and decide to move. The registrant who showed it off “makes a promise” to give the root admin account over to the person who actually owns the site, but then lo and behold this never happens. Months go by and the established forum continues to run while the “actual” owner prior to the move is still crippled and doesn't have the power.

Here's the thing: these promises they made over IM/Skype don't mean anything, and they're often not concrete to begin with. We can't verify the authenticity of some conversation and then make a decision to uproot them and give the board to the owner. In a situation where they really did promise to give the board to the person who actually owns the site, it is very wrong and we recognize that.

Root admin is unfair

“Unfairness” is highly subjective and we choose not to get involved in the personal matters of each board. Administrators and moderators have their own sets of rules and they are free to delete/ban users as they see fit within the terms of service. This actually provides a lot of free reign; in fact, a board owner can ban you from their site simply because they do not like you. It is that simple. Is it right? No. But it is their right and their choice. You may feel that you or your friends have been banned or treated unfairly in a community and want admin rights removed or transferred, but that's not how it works.

If their board is a bad place to be in your eyes, then you just need to leave. Form your own community, if it's really bad enough, others will follow you - especially your core friends within the site, if they're really your friends to begin with.

Root admin shut down site, open it?

An administrator is allowed to end their site any time they wish. If one day they wake up and decide to shut down a community or delete all of the posts, then unfortunately they can and the members and everyone else will suffer for it. There are no “forum regulations” to keep them from doing this, and since they own the board, they are allowed to do it at any time they see fit. Sometimes users want admin access so they can keep the community that they missed dearly going, or a co-admin who put a lot of work into the site doesn't want to see it fall.

In this case it's best to try to talk to the root admin if possible and if they are truly done with the website, ask them to transfer ownership to you (and don't forget to confirm it with us!). If they won't give it to you but enough people want to keep the community going, then you can register a new board with someone trustworthy.

We can't unlock someones closed board just because someone needs to get something from it or wants to reopen it for public use. They may be “done” with the community and punished everyone else by closing it in the blink of an eye, but it is their every right to do so.

 
faq-ownership.txt · Last modified: 2013/06/18 15:38 by jcink