Despite the title of this blog post, the phrase ‘Ad Farm’ is a bit of a misnomer, so to be clear up front, adverts themselves are not the issue and we don’t want to stop legitimate advertising or use of small parcels for promoting events or stores. For the purpose of this post, ‘Ad Farm’ will apply specifically to advertising or content that is intended solely to drive an unreasonable price for the parcel it is on, usually by spoiling the view of others. We have heard the feedback, read the comments and blogs and so we are making some changes to address it.
So whilst advertising in itself is okay, where it crosses the line into harassing behavior or visual spam, where the intent is purely to compel another resident to pay an unreasonable price to restore their view - then this will be covered under Harassment in our Community Standards. Such cases should be abuse reported as you would any other Terms of Service or Community Standards violations, so that the governance team can take the appropriate action. See below for detailed advice on how to abuse report these.
It will obviously be difficult for us to define exactly where example A is an abuse issue as compared to example B where it is not - but the intention is to be as consistent as we possibly can and to remove the content as it is reported to us. Also, please keep in mind that this post only applies to Mainland; it does not impact private estates or islands where the owner is able to manage their land themselves.
So to recap: Advertising on small parcels is fine, we are not outlawing the use of small parcels for this purpose.
However.. Using content, particularly advertising, to deliberately and negatively affect another resident’s view so as to sell a parcel for an unreasonable price, will be deemed unacceptable and dealt with as a violation of our community standards.
This will begin tomorrow at which point the Knowledge Base will gain an article explaining how best to abuse report these. We will then review how this goes over the next few weeks and once we see how it works out in practice we can continue or make changes as necessary.
Our first action when we come across cases of ‘ad farming’ will usually be to return the content and warn the person responsible. Repeated violation may bring further action including suspension. If you are suspended and feel our decision was wrong, you can appeal. Instructions on appeals can already be found in the Knowledge Base (search for the word ’suspended’).