Asking for reviews to be removed

YankeeFromNYC
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Oct 13, 2020 6:19 am

Asking for reviews to be removed

Post by YankeeFromNYC »

Last night, in a fit of anger, I wrote and submitted a negative review of my current school. After rereading it when I had calmed down, I realized I had included key details that might reveal my identity to my administrators. The professional consequences would be severe, so within an hour of submitting the review (and obviously before it was published), I wrote an email to ISR, asking them to please not publish it.

In my view, ISR is a tool that helps protect teachers from potentially perilous situations. But if one of us writes a review and then asks to have it removed for fear of consequences, should ISR comply in an effort to protect that teacher from severe consequences?
Heliotrope
Posts: 1090
Joined: Sun May 13, 2018 1:48 am

Re: Asking for reviews to be removed

Post by Heliotrope »

YankeeFromNYC wrote:
> Last night, in a fit of anger, I wrote and submitted a negative review of
> my current school. After rereading it when I had calmed down, I realized I
> had included key details that might reveal my identity to my
> administrators. The professional consequences would be severe, so within an
> hour of submitting the review (and obviously before it was published), I
> wrote an email to ISR, asking them to please not publish it.
>
> In my view, ISR is a tool that helps protect teachers from potentially
> perilous situations. But if one of us writes a review and then asks to have
> it removed for fear of consequences, should ISR comply in an effort to
> protect that teacher from severe consequences?

Since you emailed them before it was published, I do think it shouldn't be published, because they can be sure it was you who wrote it. After it's published, then there's no way for ISR to verify that it was you who submitted it (it could be a HoS pretending to have written it) so it should stay up.
If I were ISR, I would build in some way of verifying that someones the author (a unique code that you is shown after you click 'Publish', that would link to the review, so ISR knows you were the author if you reference it in an email), so a review can be changed or removed if there's a good reason to do so, even after being published.
YankeeFromNYC
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Oct 13, 2020 6:19 am

Re: Asking for reviews to be removed

Post by YankeeFromNYC »

I agree. As far as your suggestion goes, ISR apparently used to do something like that with the use of a secret word that could verify the author of the review: http://www.internationalschoolsreview.c ... emoved.htm
Heliotrope
Posts: 1090
Joined: Sun May 13, 2018 1:48 am

Re: Asking for reviews to be removed

Post by Heliotrope »

YankeeFromNYC wrote:
> I agree. As far as your suggestion goes, ISR apparently used to do
> something like that with the use of a secret word that could verify the
> author of the review:
> http://www.internationalschoolsreview.c ... emoved.htm

Hmm, I wonder why they discontinued that feature, since that would work perfectly, and the examples they listed illustrates the need for it.
Perhaps ISR thinks that if there's no way for a review to be removed by the author there's no longer any point for a school to blackmail teachers into requesting a removal?
YankeeFromNYC
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Oct 13, 2020 6:19 am

Re: Asking for reviews to be removed

Post by YankeeFromNYC »

Update: ISR published the review anyway, after my begging them not to. To knowingly put a teacher at risk makes ISR as bad as some of the schools reviewed on its website. I am incredibly disappointed and have written them again, asking them to cancel my subscription and refund my money.
Heliotrope
Posts: 1090
Joined: Sun May 13, 2018 1:48 am

Re: Asking for reviews to be removed

Post by Heliotrope »

That's very reckless and irresponsible of them. I hope they quickly remove it still, before it's too late. I'll report this (my) reply to draw their attention to this topic, since I don't know how closely they monitor the forum.
YankeeFromNYC
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Oct 13, 2020 6:19 am

Re: Asking for reviews to be removed

Post by YankeeFromNYC »

That's very much appreciated. Thank you.
mamava
Posts: 314
Joined: Sat May 11, 2013 7:56 am

Re: Asking for reviews to be removed

Post by mamava »

As an adult and professional....we have to temper our actions. You admittedly wrote and fired it off and then had regrets. Understandable...but as adults and professionals....you write it on a google doc. You acted on impulse and now there are consequences. Hopefully, your identity will remain anonymous, but lesson learned. Stay away from a keyboard in the moment. Hope you dodged this bullet.
gotthetshirt
Posts: 7
Joined: Tue Feb 18, 2020 11:53 am

Re: Asking for reviews to be removed

Post by gotthetshirt »

So you were so angry you wrote a review and then deprived the rest of us the opportunity to know what's happening at this school. Did you notice the blurb that says you need to be sure you want to post this review because it is an irreversible action? Really! You're like a whining, crying baby. Accept the responsibility for your actions. Don't blame ISR. In no way are they like the schools that abuse teachers. You should probably stay home. International Teaching is obviously not for you!!! What's the name of the school? Or are you so scared you can't share at least that?
Heliotrope
Posts: 1090
Joined: Sun May 13, 2018 1:48 am

Re: Asking for reviews to be removed

Post by Heliotrope »

If you write a review and then later realize you included some details that might reveal your identity, as the OP did, I'd say it's not too much too ask to have the review removed or at least have those details removed from the review.
And yes, they should 'depriving the rest of us the opportunity to know what's happening at this school' if having the review posted will cost them their job. They could then easily post an equally honest but truly anonymous review later, can't they?
Saying that 'international teaching is obviously not for them' seems rash.

I agree with @mamava that posting a review should only be done after careful consideration, but the feature ISR provided before with the 'secret word' seems like an excellent feature for the reasons ISR themselves list in their article.
PsyGuy
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Joined: Wed Oct 12, 2011 9:51 am
Location: Northern Europe

Response

Post by PsyGuy »

I concur with @mamava.

There are three issues to consider.
First, is as @Heliotrope discussed, if there is nothing that can be done about a review once posted then there is less an incentive and opportunity for the IS and leadership to apply pressure, using even grave tactics for an IT to request the removal using their password. Additionally, it alleviates some of the threat from false accusations or errors in identification from leadership and the IS. There is no recourse thus applying pressure on an IT who may be innocent is not going to get the review removed as there is no way to remove it.
Second, it places a strain on ISR staff who have to adjudicate the merit of a request for removal. Does the public interest outweigh those of the IT that authored the post? What constitutes grave consequences? Its just not something ISR wants to do.
Third, there is a substantial legal difference between a content provider and a content publisher. Providers can take advantage of safe harbor and SLAPP protections that not only shield them as being nothing more than platforms, the public square, but SLAPP protections greatly reduce your litigation and legal costs. The more control and more editorial role that ISR makes the more likely they are going to be considered a publisher. Publishers have no such depth and degree of protections, because now its their content not just their platform. The more hands off they are, the better position ISR is in.
Heliotrope
Posts: 1090
Joined: Sun May 13, 2018 1:48 am

Re: Response

Post by Heliotrope »

@PsyGuy

Some good points raised.

Regarding your second, I personally do think someone's life being severely impacted by a review that accidentally reveals the poster's identity should outweigh the public interest. At the very least the poster should be allowed to remove the parts of the review that contain the clues to their identity, in such way that the main points of the review are left intact.

I hadn't thought of the third issue you raised, but it's an interesting one. I know ISR already sometimes edits reviews (when I reviewed my previous school a few years ago one or two paragraphs were missing in the published review), plus the reviews aren't published automatically, but only after they've been reviewed by ISR, so you could argue that they're already part 'content publisher'.
gotthetshirt
Posts: 7
Joined: Tue Feb 18, 2020 11:53 am

Re: Asking for reviews to be removed

Post by gotthetshirt »

Instead of asking for the review to be removed the prudent thing to do would be to write ISR and say, " such and such a statement in my review may reveal my identity, can you please remove it from my review. The author needs to post the name of the school and a few lines from their review so we can go have a look and see if it is posted or not. My feeling is this entire scenario is a phony and just some school director trying to stir up ill will. At this point in my career I put nothing past some of their tyrants in admin positions.
Heliotrope
Posts: 1090
Joined: Sun May 13, 2018 1:48 am

Re: Asking for reviews to be removed

Post by Heliotrope »

gotthetshirt wrote:
> Instead of asking for the review to be removed the prudent thing to do
> would be to write ISR and say, " such and such a statement in my
> review may reveal my identity, can you please remove it from my review.

I agree, that would be best. That way the OP would have been protected, and the school would get the review it (probably) deserves.


> The author needs to post the name of the school and a few lines from their
> review so we can go have a look and see if it is posted or not. My feeling
> is this entire scenario is a phony and just some school director trying to
> stir up ill will. At this point in my career I put nothing past some of
> their tyrants in admin positions.

The fact that they emailed before it was posted makes it very unlikely it would be a school director and not the actual teacher who submitted the review. Also, the same post was also posted by the OP on the member forum, and there they said they included the whole review text when emailing asking for a removal, so there would be no doubt they submitted the review for publication.
gotthetshirt
Posts: 7
Joined: Tue Feb 18, 2020 11:53 am

Re: Asking for reviews to be removed

Post by gotthetshirt »

Having access to a review because it is written on a school computer is far different than being the author. How do we know this is really the author and not just some school admin tasked with monitoring teachers computers? The bottom line is he should have read and headed the the big red letters that say your submission is an irreversible action. This person needs to take responsibility for their actions.
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