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VintageKrug - 08/02/2012 10:13 BST

The forum posts look like the work of a Bot to me. Just generic statements. Probably best if the user was removed.

LuganoPirate - 08/02/2012 10:25 BST

It would be nice if the "recent" posts on the forum home page could be increased from 10 to 20. Sometimes I miss replies when a lot of topics are discussed and the thread I'm contributing to gets pushed down and out.

It then means I have to put in key words or wait for someone with more patience than me to resurrect it!

Tete_de_cuvee - 08/02/2012 10:28 BST

Yes Martyn, am being increasingly drawn to the view Simon shared on a previous thread. The number of coincidences are growing, centred on one well kown poster who has used this tactic several times before on threads which run contra to his BA promoting agenda.

Looks as though he views this forum as his playground to disrupt whenever the mood takes him. Very sad.

MartynSinclair - 08/02/2012 10:33 BST

Morning T D C - if a high profile poster were to manipulate the forum in that respect, I presume that Tom and his crew would intervene as they would know.

All new handles need an email address and presumably the IP address can be taken found embedded within that email.

VintageKrug - 08/02/2012 10:43 BST

While I'd rather not rise to the bait, but after nearly 100 posts in the other thread - it's all plainly much more interesting than discussing business travel - it's probably better that I set out my position clearly to avoid another dozen pages of speculation and drivel.

Please desist with all these silly accusations.

There is no evidence whatsoever that I have any other handle on here. I don't. Never have. Never will.

Happy for BT to explore IP addresses or whatever.

You cannot prove anything, but similarly neither can I refute these allegations; the damage is done in the mud slinging, and it's got to stop.

Indeed, I don't believe there's anything one can do to prove or disprove who any poster is; but the focus should surely switch away from my handle to a group others who seem to be worryingly obsessed with me.

It's incredibly boring to read the constant accusations from Hengli, Tete, Disgusted, Ishmael, Henkel.Trocken et al (why no-one asks if these are the same poster - two of whom have chosen explicitly champagne related usernames - I'll never quite understand).

Now I don't actually think all of these handles are the same person - but there are certainly similarities, and probably more similarities in the posting style, travel pattern and perspectives than might be drawn from similar posts by those other handles which have also been accused of being me.

It does seem to be in some way related to the position I have taken providing a commentary - apparently appreciated by some of the crew I have spoken to - on recent events at BA. It's a shame open debate is so frowned upon.

Indeed, it's interesting that Henkel hadn't posted since the 19 December, and popped up again on 2 Feb within an hour of me posting for the first time in weeks in the "forum posters identity" thread with a diatribe against me.

Nearly every single post made by that H.T username since then has referenced me in some way, and if you explore back to that username's posting history, more than a quarter of the posts are concerned with badmouthing me:

It's certainly harming the forum; in large part it was the actions of those posters which made me decide to take some time out from posting.

re: this morning's accusations, johnsmith6 is quite obviously a Bot; the posts are generic, brief and not written in proper English, often referring to thread long thrown into the dustbin (e.g the expired expedia offer). If such accusations happen every time a bot infests the forum, or someone comes in late at night and makes a series of posts, then the forum will indeed "fall apart" as BB set out.

It would help, now the forum is getting busier, if the number of posts shown in the recent posts box was doubled, which would ensure everything got a good airing.

Every user has a unique email address, and although email addresses are pretty easy to create, mine is tied to my BT subscription, in addition I am also known to Mark Caswell and Tom Otley as well as having some recent conversations with other forum posters and Mark Caswell via email about similar accusations, which are completely without foundation.

I trust that BT's website administration will verify this, and remove the johnsmith6 account in question.

I have never sought any "attention" and have explicitly asked posters not to refer to me, but to discuss the content of posts, which seems to be being adopted by most by using the "quote date" function.

This obsession with me is really what is most sad about some who post here. Probably quite lonely people.

Tete_de_cuvee - 08/02/2012 10:44 BST

Good morning Martyn, As nearly all forum posters travel, the usual common link/trace - the IP address - can easily be avoided. Different locations and different machines (ipad, iphone, laptop) plus the availabilty of devices in hotels, lounges with dynamic IP addresses etc may well mean following a recurring user's IP is difficult.

Setting up a new e-m without any verification presents no difficulty either. Annoying, one can only live with the jekyll (bastion of correct grammar, spelling, syntax) and hyde (deliberate errors, street) irritant who occasionally even confuses himself as to which persona is posting.

The guy clearly loves the attention.

BeckyBoop - 08/02/2012 11:01 BST

Can we have a 'Like' button next to each post like you get on Facebook and also be able to sort and search through old posts and threads more easily? Thanks xx

MartynSinclair - 08/02/2012 11:07 BST

"Calm down dear" - personally, i would have avoided the bait!

I am pleased to see you back and look forward to post number 4541.

TDC - would it work if the initial email to join the forum came from a business address rather than a hotmail / aol / account. At least that way BT would have visible details of each poster (and before anyone bleats, this is more about this morning "bot" than any of the regulars).

- 08/02/2012 11:17 BST

Can't blame the EU, WIllie Wlash or Bassa for this so not interested :-)

Tete_de_cuvee - 08/02/2012 11:20 BST

I think what you are suggesting Martyn is to only allow forum accounts to be opened using e-m addresses from private/business domains and not public ones such as ISP/hotmail/gmail.Please correct me if I have the wrong take.

That would certainly help with validation, however it may also curtail some users eg Not all airline staff may have an employers e-mail account so can only use the usual public e-mails such as ISP / hotmail / gmail / yahoo facility.

LuganoPirate - 08/02/2012 13:06 BST

The problem with only using a business address is that many people do not have them or are not allowed to use them other than for company business.

I have no affiliations with any airline, other than a love for Swiss, nor any travel company but I only use a "yahoo" address, which is paid for, but no-one would know that.

To restrict it to business addresses would mean many could not contribute including perhaps retired travelers who no longer work so have no business address but do have an enormous amount of experience to contribute.

I'm not particularly bothered if any forum poster pushes his or her favourite airline, I'm old enough to make up my own mind but I am grateful when someone can give advice on a particular airline or hotel even to an experienced traveler such as myself. No one is too old to learn something new,

The only change I would make is that people have to post say 10 times before they are allowed to start a new topic. This would push out those mysterious advertisers who are looking for a freebie and I'm sure from their comments BT could quickly see if they are spurious or not.

- 08/02/2012 13:11 BST

As an owner of my own business I feel very strongly about the use of corporate emails for personal purposes. I do not think people should be encouraged to use their emloyer's email account for personal activity. If it is their personal opinion, then they do not speak for the company and if it is the company view then they should not be pretending to be an individual with independent view.

SiteAdministrator - 08/02/2012 13:26 BST

I'll look into this, but there may be a simpler answer - our error.

As you know we send out a newsletter every Thursday, but other editions of Business Traveller send out their own email newsletters on other days, and at other times.

As part of the newsletter there is the functionality to update a forum widget, which then allows the recipient to see the current forum discussions. If you don't update it, then the template simply populates it with old discussions (or the ones that were there on the template).

Occasionally this happens, and then users see a thread and post on it, reigniting some long lost thread from the past.

While this has the advantage of pushing down threads whcih have become very tedious, it is actually an error on our part and one for which staff are dangled out of the window of Business Traveller towers until they promise to concentrate more before pressing "send".

So if that is the reason, apologies.

And it was good to meet a few of you at the Business Travel Show yesterday

Tom Otley

Irons80 - 08/02/2012 14:34 BST

And there goes the theory of some that it was VK doing it. Maybe they'll stop now with their frankly boring and very slightly obsessive posts.

Henkel.Trocken - 10/02/2012 07:45 BST

08/02/2012 10:43 GMT

What a sad post.

From 20th December - 31st January I was lucky enough to be travelling in the South Pacific for pleasure. I had little access to IT and much as I enjoy the BT forums they weren't high enough on my list of things to look at! Mrs HT and I had an amazing trip. A once in a lifetime. Well, we might do it again some day if we get the chance.

It's sad that disagreeing with views and challenging the experience of the person expressing them is seen as an attack and badmouthing. I suppose there are some people around who can't accept challenge to their view point and get very entrenched in expressing it.

A little justification for stances adopted is a much more mature way to behave rather than posting mantras and links to an airline website that anyone with a little intelligence could find if they were sufficiently interested.

I was talking to a colleague yesterday who actually drew my attention to the post I've referred to above, they know my handle in this forum but don't post here themselves as far as I know. I believe he only reads the SQ forum on Flyertalk.

He told me of a poster there who adopts a line of SQ is perfect at everything they ever do and are faultless, the best airline in the world and so on. He even a few weeks ago started attacking people who were complaining about the website and stating that he had no problems with it and they mustn't know what they were doing. That got rather a lot of frequent posters cross and let's say he was challenged strongly and in one of his responses he said something like SQ was a wonderful company and he hoped he'd be lucky enough to fly with them one day. FT allows people to quote and his post was quoted probably before he realised what he had posted and removed it.

It does beg the question of whether someone who blindly advocates one airline has really ever travelled with it or are they just continually doing desk top research which of course if you had the time and not much else to do, would make you pretty well informed.

I just wonder.

I think both the French and the Germans would take exception to HT being described as champagne

Account_closed - 10/02/2012 16:10 BST

Well said Rich

Henkel - I also share your views

Account_closed - 10/02/2012 16:10 BST

Well said Rich

Henkel - I also share your views

MartynSinclair - 10/02/2012 16:37 BST

I agree with Rich. All post, especially if marked P & C is opened on arrival and all electronic mail boxes can be inspected at any time. These are the rules I have to adhere to and agree with if I am contracted to any company.

However, what I was suggesting, was that the mail address is merely used by BT so that a poster can be identified by BT for poster verification purposes, i.e. someone knows who Mr or Mrs 007 actually is - I was certainly not advocating for these details to be published alongside a post. It amazes me in trade journals when peoples companies are identified next to personal comments.

I guess it all depends how seriously you take the people behind the posts. Personally, I am interested in the post, whether it is from an old bottle of plonk or a blatantly loyal fan of BA - who cares!!

I have been subjected to abuse into my personal mail inbox only once by a poster using the handle Peter Boulton (which considering the fact I openly publish my email address, does surprise me). Was I bothered, not really, I reported it the the BT team, but I am still here safe and sound.

We all are mature enough to consider and evaluate the information flow. If not, well quite frankly, you shouldn't be using open forums.

Have a great weekend everyone, life is fabulous, but only if you let it !!!!

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