We collect no personal information about you when you visit our web site unless you choose to provide this information to us. However, we collect and store certain information automatically. Here is how we handle information about your visit to our web site.
What We Collect and Store Automatically
If you do nothing during your visit but browse through the web site, read pages, or download information, we will gather and store certain information about your visit automatically. This information does not identify you personally. We automatically collect and store only the following information about your visit:
- The Internet domain (for example, "xcompany.com" if you use a private Internet access account, or "yourschool.edu" if you connect from a university's domain) and IP address (an IP address is a number that is automatically assigned to your computer whenever you are surfing the Web) from which you access our web site;
- The type of browser and operating system used to access our site;
- The date and time you access our site;
- The pages you visit; and...
- If you linked to our web site from another web site, the address of that web site. We use the information we collect to count the number and type of visitors to the different pages on our site, and to help us make our site more useful to visitors like you.
If You Send Us E-mail
You may choose to provide us with personal information, as in E-mail with a comment or question. We use the information to improve our service to you or to respond to your request. Sometimes we forward your E-mail to other WALLSTREETBEAR employees or authorized concessionaires who may be better able to help you. Except for authorized law enforcement investigations, we do not share our E-mail with any other outside organizations.
Links to Other Sites
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This web site and the information it contains are provided as a service by the WALLSTREETBEAR. This system is monitored to ensure proper operation, to verify the functioning of applicable security features, and for comparable purposes. Anyone using this system expressly consents to such monitoring. Unauthorized attempts to modify any information stored on this system, to defeat or circumvent security features, or to utilize this system for other than its intended purposes are prohibited and may result in criminal prosecution.
Restriction of Liability
WALLSTREETBEAR makes no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the contents of this web site and expressly disclaims liability for errors and omissions in the contents of this web site. No warranty of any kind, implied, expressed or statutory, including but not limited to the warranties of non-infringement of third party rights, title, merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose and freedom from computer virus, is given with respect to the contents of this web site or its hyper links to other Internet resources. Reference in this web site to any specific commercial products, processes, or services, or the use of any trade, firm or corporation name is for the information and convenience of our customers, and does not constitute endorsement, recommendation, or favoring by WALLSTREETBEAR unless specifically stated.
Information presented on this web site, unless otherwise indicated, is considered in the public domain. It may be distributed or copied as is permitted by the law. Not all information on this web site has been created or is owned by the WALLSTREETBEAR. If you wish to use any non-WALLSTREETBEAR material, you must seek permission directly from the owning (or holding) sources. WALLSTREETBEAR shall have the unlimited right to use for any purpose, free of any change, all information submitted to WALLSTREETBEAR via this site except those submissions made under separate legal contract. WALLSTREETBEAR shall be free to use, for any purpose, any ideas, concepts, or techniques contained in information provided to WALLSTREETBEAR through this site.
Plain and simple, there is no such thing as anonymity. I've have been amazed at what a friend of mine has been able to find out about people. He's not an investigator or a "web-head." He just knows something about the Internet, is hard working, and has time on his hands. Name, address, home and work telephones, work email address, business contacts, supervisors and associates. He can find out where you log into the Internet from and from that derive your schedule: when you are at work, when you are home, and when you logged in from your mother-in-law's house. Yes, he can find out whether of not it's your mother-in-law or your concubine. If it's a business he can find out if you work there and how long you have been employed – all in about 20 minutes or so right from his desktop. No phone calls, no fees, nada.
But we must have this folks. I'm sorry, but it is so. Here is why: it keeps real troublemakers from doing a lot of damage. It has been used effectively to nab people on our board who are interested in revenge, practical jokes, and other types of funny business. That kind of thing has probably cost me hundreds, perhaps thousands of dollars.
So while I agree that it can be wielded by some faceless bureaucracy to execute a capricious and inhuman justice, I still think the predominant and compassionate usage of these tools is helpful and, in some instances, necessary to keep the internet working at all. It only takes one idiot with a virus to shut down the entire infrastructure that we have become dependent on.
Without this WSTB would become just another Yahoo board filled with ads, porn, infighting, etc.
What does WALLSTREETBEAR need to looks at?
We must be able to track down those who misuse the board. Lately we have been spending an inordinate amount of time behind the scenes with damage control. I simply will not allow our time to be dominated by, first, those who understand the guidelines but who are bent on pushing them to their limits, and secondly, those who fail to understand the guidelines after repeated clarifications.
Not to be trivial but I guess a good way to look at it is "Spring Cleaning."
Question: What does this mean specifically?
Example: we might need to attempt to establish whether a previously banned member is re-accessing the board. It's not impossible to get back in. But, for the benefit of keeping the board culture intact, we track IPs.
Nearly every web site you visit tracks IP addresses. So this is a common practice. I don't want to go into every detail of how the internet works. But I do want our members to have a basic understanding of the tools internet providers must use to protect not only your forum as a whole, but your individual abilities to carry on a financial discussion without interruption.
We don't go further unless an "IP Investigation," for example, with an seeming offender gets complicated. We usually email the individual to determine motive. If they have a plausible reason for having multiple usernames, for example, we're done. But if, in the course of their defense, they provide us information that needs to be verified then we will do that. We are trying to protect our members when we do this. We are not trying to be "nosey."
It's pretty simple really. We just need everyone to understand this. If you are uncomfortable with it you need to look at your cookie file on your PC. All we do is store your username and, if you want, your password. The majority of cookies on your PC do FAR, FAR more than that.
WALLSTREETBEAR believes in being up-front letting everyone know that your anonymity is assured among the Moderators. We do not give this information to anyone unless you request it. But, at the same time, it is reasonable to assume that once you join the forum you understand our mutual obligation to the guidelines. We have to keep order and protect your right to carry on financial discussions without problems.
Again, without this policy we simply could not conduct business. For that matter, the internet would become a place where every man did that which is right in his own eyes.