There was a recent ripple in our community that should probably be cleared up -- because I can only see it as a cascading series of misunderstandings.

As far as I know, it began with @Pe7er posting a new answer to How to manage multiple Joomla sites and their updates.

Then a short discussion ensued under the answer. Some of these comments have since been deleted, but for context and accuracy, I will display them all in chronological order with absolutely no doctoring.

@PhilTaylor said:

Why are you commenting on a 2014 question, 7 year old question? Sounds like an advertisement to me. There are ZERO GDPR issues using mySites.guru or any other SaaS. We operate secure and FULLY LEGAL service in compliance with international law. We are not processing your clients personal data, we are interested in the CODE that powers the site, not the DATA in the database. The only people peddling the lies about GDPR compliance are the yoursites.net team.

@Pe7er said:

This topic was displayed when I clicked on "Questions". I commented on a 2014 question because that's how Joomla Stack Exchange works: when you see a topic that can be improved, improve it.

@jdog said:

@phil taylor your defensiveness sounds like an advertisement

@mickmackusa said:

@PhilTaylor I wish more people would "necropost" on JSE -- this would help to ensure that old content is relevant, safe, viable, and current. We must never avoid answering an old question when we have something valuable and unique to offer -- this is not Joomla Forum where old threads get locked. If you find that an old page/post can use improvement/clarification, please suggest an edit -- this only improves content for researchers. If there are no inaccuracies in Pe7er's answer, then I see no cause for debate under his answer.

@mickmackusa said:

@PhilTaylor If you are motivated to dispel any false claims about a product, and civilly editing the post will be effective, please do that. If you want to leave a comment under an answer to express that you see some unfair biasing, okay. Outside of that, recommendations are allowed on JSE (after being mulled over by this community) but there are some concerns. A couple of good meta posts: joomla.meta.stackexchange.com/q/64/12352 and joomla.meta.stackexchange.com/a/41/12352 If you ever want to discuss the rightfulness of a post, it may be best to ask on Joomla Meta.

@PhilTaylor said:

If moderators want to make false legal claims about our service and product then maybe I should take it higher and have them removed as a moderator. Easily done.

@PhilTaylor said:

@jdog My "defensiveness" comes from having to - repeatedly - dismiss the false accusations and claims that such a SaaS is illegal and not in compliance with international law by those that use that stance/tactic to promote one over another. Im now up to winning FIVE legal cases against my product and my name, and I have lost ZERO cases. Two even settled out of court in our favour. Using mySites.guru doesn't "share" your websites data with the SaaS, and there is no third party involvement, there are no GDPR compliance issues either - its all lies and I will defend my name/service.

@PhilTaylor said:

@mickmackusa Im sorry that you feel there are no inaccuracies in Pe7er's answer. 1) When you connect a site to mySites.guru you DON'T share your websites data 2) No third parties have access to your data, the mySites code is GPL and not encrypted, you can review it yourself. It does only what its coded to do. 3) We are in full compliance with all international laws including GDPR. So there are three things wrong with his answer.

@mickmackusa said:

@Phil I assure you that I have absolutely zero knowledge of the services being referenced on this page or the rules behind GDPR. My advice was to civilly suggest an edit if appropriate. I don't know you, Phil, nor do I know who you work for / what you do / what you know. My attention remains on the content on this page while keeping cool heads among our community members. I am a moderator, not an SME. Please always play your part in whistleblowing when something is not right. I always do, and appreciate anyone else doing the same.

@PhilTaylor said:

LMAO - you say you dont know me... yet you are moderator for a Joomla Stack Exchange... I suggest you do some research then, I'm one of the oldest (currently the number one code contributor) contributor to Joomla Core.... I should not have to patrol and edit factually incorrect false information about the services I provide being posted here and then be accused of editing commercial disagreements. I always call out bullshit when I see it. That's why I'm hated.

@mickmackusa said:

The good news for me is that I don't need to know anyone personally to do an effective job of moderating (especially in this case). I have read Pe7er's answer a few times now and I see no cause for you to be triggered. He is not taking any shots at other services. He begins by mentioning two services, then proceeds to express why he favours a third -- this is a completely valid and sensible contribution. If you feel that his answer infers or implies something that is false, then... you are welcome to use any available tools to add clarity/accuracy to this page. As for needing to "patrol and edit factually incorrect false information", well, I'm sorry to disappoint you but humans must patrol other humans until AI has developed enough to replace us. Questionable advice hits the Stack Exchange Network every day by the thousands. Most of the time contributors are unaware of why their contribution is questionable/bad. We rely on Subject Matter Expects (SMEs) to vet, filter, correct, whistleblow. This is why it is imperative that you contribute in constructive ways -- for the benefit of others. I can certainly relate to what you are saying about being hated for calling things out. There are just some scenarios where it only sounds contrived to offer negative feedback inside of a "positivity burger". The truth is that many people in the php pool on Stack Overflow wish I wasn't there. But if I wasn't then the quality of the content and the researcher experience would be worse. I don't see any evidence that people hate you on JSE, but the fact remains that this place will be worse off with fewer whistleblowers such as yourself. @PhilTaylor

Before posting that last comment, I found that @PhilTaylor had edited his own answer from years ago to add the text ", and on another occasion, was a guest at his own wedding!".

I then edited the answer to remove some text and left an informative reason for my edit.

Then @PhilTaylor said via comment:

And with that pathetic editing of my answer yet again - Im done with @mickmackusa as a moderator and Joomla Stack Exchange. What better recommendation can their be than a personal recommendation, proved by attendance at the developers wedding - that is totally relevant to the reply Dont bother replying...

@PhilTaylor then turned to Twitter to say:

So someone asked if @akeebabackup was secure on @StackOverflow

I answered and said it was, that that @sledge812 was a nice guy and that I attended his wedding

Moderators deleted my "recommendation" as being off topic.

er.... Im done with Stack Overflow. Again.

I have every intention of adding an answer which explains the actions that I took (when I find more time), but I feel that it is important that the whole story exist for public review. Anyone is free to post an answer which:

  1. Tries to clarify where the misunderstanding are,
  2. Offers alternative ways that these events could have gone more positively, or
  3. Suggests potential ways to educate all parties while endeavouring to "keep the peace".

I think that @PhilTaylor (Phil) was triggered by @Pe7er's (Peter) answer because the positive points that Peter made toward yoursites.net were interpreted by Phil as being exclusive benefits/features that the other services did not provide.

Consider this re-framed/fabricated post which might answer which pets are easy to keep:

Millions of people have birds, cats and dogs.

I recommend having fish because:

  1. You don't need to exercise them.
  2. They don't make much noise.
  3. You don't need to wash them in a bathtub.

Obviously, these are not exclusive aspects. A bird doesn't need exercising. A cat doesn't make much noise. You get the point.

I do not have the necessary knowledge to specify which services in Peter's answer do or do not have certain features/attributes, but an answer that accurately clarifies these points would be super valuable to researchers. This specific improvement can be executed by Peter at any time or suggested by anyone who knows -- you don't even need a JSE account to suggest an edit.

"Advertising" software or a service can definitely be appropriate on JSE -- this is not an automatic violation of rules. It is important, though, that:

  1. posts are not blatantly self-promoting and
  2. any affiliation with a product or service MUST be declared and
  3. the primary intent of the post must be to educate/inform.

I don't find Peter's post to be in direct violation of these principles.

As for the second post where Phil edited his own answer, I was drawn to this post because it was sent to the top of the active posts list -- something that I monitor at least once daily.

The question that Phil answered was basically asking if Akeeba's backup software was secure.

@nikosdion posted an excellent answer that makes a compelling and factual defence for why his software is trustworthy.

When I saw Phil's edit, my first impulse was to either convert the low-value answer into a comment under the question or outright delete it. Phil's recent actions were not ideal, but I do not expect perfection -- actions that can be improved represent opportunities to invest in community members. Also there is no benefit in further adding to the ire of a community member that is feeling hard-done-by.

To be frank not only did his answer contain more irrelevant than relevant content, the only semi-supportive statement was that there are millions of sites that use this software.

While I personally believe that the Akeeba backup software is very secure, any answer needs to be supported by relevant facts.

Whether I personally know @nikosdion, I met him at a garage sale, our daughters go to ballet together, or he attended my bar mitzvah -- none of these things have any value to researchers on the topic of software security. I have no regrets about editing the irrelevant text from the answer and I wouldn't have hesitated to approve a similar edit by someone else.

As for millions of people using the software, it could be argued that that fact is an insufficient defence. After all, millions of people use Microsoft / Facebook / Sony / etc software and they can even be hacked. If we are going full-blown tinfoil hat time, nothing is 100% secure. Don't worry, I am not going there.

In the end, I think it was the right choice to strip back Phil's answer and leave it as an answer for the benefit of researchers.

Finally, there is Phil's incredulity that I've never heard of him. This was not a lie. I have been meeting dozens of advocates and contributors to Joomla via meetups, JoomlaDays, and online over the last couple of years, but I haven't met everyone. I have not been around since the Mambo years. Before 2018, I had never even heard of Joomla. So, you see, there will be dozens of pillars in the Joomla community that I don't know by name and who don't know me. This is no one's fault -- this is just how it is. I do not have time or energy to troll the social media networks to run background checks on every user account that joins JSE. If you want the JSE community to know your Joomla story, add these details to your profile -- I do often look at these.

Everyone in JSE is equally important and everyone must abide by the same rules and etiquettes. Someone with 1 rep point will be treated the same as someone with 1M rep points. A moderator can be banned as fast as a non-moderator. We have no deities here. If anyone can be measured here, it is by the quality, generosity, and volume of their contributions. If you are a Joomla SME (Subject Matter Expert), then you won't need to tell anyone -- they will be instantly aware of the depth of your knowledge based on the quality of your posts.

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