The questions I asked in my blog post this morning are yet to be answered. A bit more of the picture has come to hand and more questions need to be answered.
I was not going to post anything further until all questions were answered and I had the full story but people are asking for what I know and my perspective, so here it is. I think that is a fair call that they ask for that. People have heard various things in bits and pieces including now read the statements from 12WBT Admin that have been posted by Facebook group admins. You can read my post from this morning which ends with the following question.
- It’s a fair call if 12WBT wish to reign in the use of their trademark across the board and have one set of rules.
- It’s a fair call that if the groups are unofficial and outside the actual 12WBT program that members can discuss and post whatever they like.
- What needs to be ascertained are the facts here: Which is it?
The rest of this post gives you the background to my post this morning. I do have more of story since I posted that, which you will read below.
Some members have asked for the initial email I received to be posted. I have asked the sender if that email, and the subsequent that will follow, may be shared. I have no problems sharing them from my perspective and will post a screenshot but will only do so with the senders permission.
Some have heard various things and have asked for the full story.
I received the initial email discussed previously, and to summarise, it was from Tim in Admin and it stated that as 12WBT need to ensure the integrity of their brand and trademark that I must either not post about any upcoming Emazon events OR remove 12WBT from the group/page name.
When I read this I was struck with thought that I understood the unofficial Facebook pages created by members to not be under any official governing of 12WBT and we set them up to share info about events that cannot be posted on the 12WBT.com site under their terms & conditions (which is fair enough!). I also thought what other posts does this extend to and that it affects how all the groups work and what the ground rules are.
I also thought “Oh well. Fair call if they wish to start being involved in the 12WBT labelled Facebook groups. Surprised it did not happen sooner. It is their brand, their trademark and they have the right to change things.. This move towards reigning in their ’12WBT’ wording was bound to happen. It would be actually be great thing if they made some official 12WBT Facebook groups and had paid staff to moderate these. “
I assumed they must be looking at this issue across the board in terms of all Facebook groups, looking at any member’s posts about any third party business and deciding to draw a line in the sand, make some new rules – as they did with the forums in the early days when we were asked not to post about Commando Steve sessions or local PTs sessions etc. Again, fair call. From that point onwards on 12wbt.com we all have to agree to the terms and conditions that outline that clearly. I respect those rules, as do other members.
I thought it was simple – I was given two options in the email from Tim: our unofficial Facebook groups that have 12WBT in their title can choose to never post about any third party events again or they can remove 12WBT from the group name. I decided to throw it open to the Queensland Crew Facebook pages for them to discuss thinking it had implications for everyone and posts about all types of third party businesses. Gave everyone a chance in a currently unofficial group to discuss the options and state which they prefer, give feedback. Golden feedback for 12WBT if they read it, I might add. The Queensland Crew Facebook pages while unofficial they do have a couple of 12WBT Admin Staff members in it so it’s a very transparent group.
I did not think the initial email from 12WBT Admin was just directed at my posts or Emazon events only. However, as today went on and more information came to hand (through the discussions on the unofficial Queensland Crew & SE Queensland Crew Facebook group pages, messages, emails. other posts and a statement that was send to a group of Facebook group admins) it started appear that this request emailed to me was specifically about Emazon events. Which I just do not understand why it is singled out here… more on that to come.
Some members of the Queensland Crew Facebook groups posted publicly on the pages and sent me private messages to say they had been told that the email I received was only sent to me and was only about Emazon events. Then an email from 12WBT was sent to all those who are Facebook group admins which the members shared in the Facebook groups, at 12WBT Admins request.
“Hi 12WBT Facebook Group Admins, We just want to clarify the recent confusion about non-official 12WBT Facebook groups. Firstly, we love that you guys are so passionate about 12WBT and use these groups to inspire, connect with and motivate each other. We have no problem with you posting about any activities and meet ups on these pages, and in fact, we encourage it. We also don’t want these pages to become a place where you only discuss 12WBT – where would be the fun in that? However, in cases when we hear about consistent and regular promotions of a third party paid program, and we think it’s starting to look like we are endorsing that program, we may get in touch to ask you stop. This is what happened in this instance. We’ve put a lot of hard work into making 12WBT what it is and we don’t want to blur the lines between 12WBT and other programs. We hope that you feel you can always talk to us about these matters and in return we hope that we can always talk to you. We know how much hard work and effort you put into supporting each other and what a great Crew you’ve created. For those of you that are coming to the Brisbane finale we can’t wait to see you there! It would be great if you could post this on any of the Facebook Groups where this is an issue.
Warm regards, Larah & the 12WBT Team
With this follow up from them when a member checked it was OK to share the message on the Queensland Facebook groups:
Please feel free to post the whole email into the Facebook group, we really do want to clear up any confusion
I know this is a really tricky one, we have no problem with things like boot camps, fun runs, training sessions and similar activities that help you live a healthy and active lifestyle. We are really just trying to avoid people advertising programs that are in contrast to the 12WBT philosophies.
I hope this clarifies things a bit further.
I received a follow up email from Tim which restated what was said in the first email and that the posts were creating an association between 12WBT and Emazon.
When I got home this afternoon I read that email as well as the posts in the Queensland Crew pages, my Facebook profile and messages. I still had the original questions I posted this morning here and a bunch of new questions. Here is my reply to Tim:
I am confused and a number of things need clarifying:
1. Are the Facebook groups with 12WBT in their name governed by some 12WBT terms and conditions? If so, these need to be made public. I thought they were unofficial and therefore members can post about anything. If this has changed then the new ground rules need to be established and I will happy oblige. I would not deliberately or willingly break a rule and I am disappointed to think you may think otherwise! I have given my heart and soul, my time and so very much because I believe in what 12WBT can do for so many… to this end I think it is not too much to ask for some further explanation here.
2. Why is it that an Emazon event in particular being posted a problem? I do not understand that! Please explain. Emazon does not run a 12 week program or similar. Like a lot of other events and things posted by members, the workshops run by Emazon are complimentary to 12WBT from where I sit.
3. Does that mean that an event by The Commando, Lisa Curry or Shannon Ponton or similar person is an issue also? There’s been chats with Lisa Curry about a sessions for Brisbane 12WBTers in the months ahead. Is that something I cannot post in the pages? Margie Cummins from The Biggest Loser and I are planning regular sessions, to be announced soon. Is that also something I cannot post in the 12WBT Facebook pages? Clarification and explanation here is needed. As is a consistent set of guidelines.
4. If it is just some events, trainers or programs can you please specify which ones so we are clear? Many members post about other trainers, events and programs in the groups – the ground rules need to be established and then it’s crystal clear and everyone is operating with the same set of rules.
5. In your follow up email you state that “… also believe that this has now blurred the lines and is creating an association between Emazon and 12WBT.” Are you saying that a few posts from me have created an association? I find that hard to believe.
I question the statements from you that I have posted in 12WBT groups ‘a lot’ and with ‘high frequency’ about Emazon events. That is not the case. If you take a look you will see that I have posted more about a whole range of other things. I do not understand where that idea comes from – if you take a look at the groups you can see what has been posted and when. Please understand that given I was operating under the understanding that anyone can post anything in the unofficial Facebook groups that I saw posting that as no different to shouting out about anything else.
6. If this is an Emazon event specific issue does this mean no other member can post about Emazon events in 12WBT Facebook groups? From the posts in the Queensland Crew Facebook page it sounds like others have been told this *is* an Emazon-specific rule.
6. If a few posts from me on 12WBT Facebook groups have created an association where does this end? Does this mean that I need to be considering what association is created between 12WBT and any other event or product or whatever I might post about? I really do not understand and I really need clarification on this!
I am confused about where this has all originated from and why. I am confused as to why the Emazon events in particular are a problem. I am confused because I thought the forums had specific guidelines but the Facebook group ‘rules’ were up to the members who used it.
At what point in the social media around 12WBT are we governed by terms and conditions of the program and at what point are we as members entitled to speak freely? Many people are concerned about this.
My primary email XXXX. Please reply to that as I have stopped using this account.
Here is the screenshot – you will need to open it in a new window to see, hence I posted the text above.
I am sure there are answers to these questions and all will become clear. I am really confused (as you can see by the questions in my email!).
Because some people are calling strongly for more information on this I have posted this update – I hope to have answers to all those questions very soon. I am sure it will all become much clearer!
I know people feel so very passionately about the many issues and questions this all raises. I hope everyone speaks up and also respects one another’s view points.
I have been working out what I think about all of this… and with so many questions unanswered I do not want to make the call or give an opinion fully yet.
I have really mixed emotions. Confusion is the main one… bit disappointed in some of what has transpired but that is not productive, especially until I know the full story.
Some progress. More questions. Still confused.