I have often wondered why Full Tilt Poker seems to allow people to say and post whatever they want on the rail, with no consequences. Sure you have your legitimate people watching and posting from the rail cheering their friends on, but most often the rail is full of annoying people who insult the players, spam their sites, or even worse, beg for money.
Why doesn't Full Tilt Poker do anything about this? Full Tilt Poker seems to occasionally ban a user from chatting for inappropriate conduct, but this only seems to happen when a "pro" or high stakes player formally requests it.
A site like Pokerstars seems to proactively screen their chat logs for infractions in order to keep the site as clean as possible. On the other hand, Full Tilt Poker waits for the problems to be brought to them, and even then will often do nothing.
You may say "Why don't people just turn off their observer chat?" Some people enjoy railing their friends and cheering them on, and there is nothing wrong with that. People shouldn't be forced to turn off their observer chat just because there are some uncontrollable monkeys in observer chat.
Full Tilt Poker needs to adopt a hard-line approach to how they handle the chat situation on their site. Here are some suggestions:
1) Start to proactively screen their chat logs for infractions. If an observer posts a URL, uses any number of inappropriate words or floods the chat, their user ID and chat logs will be automatically flagged for review. This isn't that much extra work for someone to review the logs; if a person is found guilty of posting an unauthorized URL or using foul language, they receive an automatic suspension of their chatting capabilities. If you are found guilty of two infractions, you receive a suspension from the site itself. Three chat infractions and you are banned permanently.
2. There is a reason why Pokerstars has a policy of requiring an observer to have at least a buy-in in their account for the table that they are watching. This is done to prevent beggars from flooding the chat with money requests. Full Tilt needs to implement this same policy immediately.
3. The ability to quickly and easily self-police the chat box needs to be implemented. How about if you double-click on an observer's name, a box will pop up saying "Report this user for chat violations?" Click yes and their User ID will be flagged for review as well as their chat logs. If Full Tilt quickly and fairly responds to chat infractions, then the chat boxes would be cleaned up quickly, as most people can't stand what takes place in the FTP chat box.
4. Zero tolerance for people posting URL's in the chat box. There are just too many phishing opportunities. If you are found guilty of posting a link to a rakeback site or something similar, Full Tilt should close your affiliate account and ban your chat.
5. Like Pokerstars, final tables should be completely free of observer chat.
Just a few suggestions, and none of these are that hard to implement. This is quite a big issue, as many people that I know get quite infuriated by what takes place in the chat boxes on Full Tilt Poker. They should really do something about it, sooner rather than later.
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