About.Ag


All About Silver - ... the buck stops here ...
Check out BullionDealerData.com - In-depth investigation of your favorite bullion dealers

Kitco Exit Interview Silver Forum Review

(not to be taken as a 'Kitco Sucks' or reputation page)

UPDATE! 14 Jun 2011: It sounds like Kitco lied to all their customers!

UPDATE! 13 Jun 2011: Kitco "involved in major tax fraud", per Revenu Québec. The press release alleges that Kitco "engaged in a bogus commercial activity involving repetitive transactions and the use of a system of false invoicing".

Summary

I would be leery of anything written on the Kitco forums, unless you trust the poster. Kitco lies, the moderators are well known to play favorites, and delete, alter, or move posts at their whim, and warn, suspend or ban members as they see fit (fortunately, they rarely ban popular members). They set a policy of allowing misinformation to appear uncorrected in what they admitted was their "2nd most viewed and replied to thread in the silver forum" and "a must read for most silver bugs" , and when called on it, said that corrections should appear in a separate thread -- so in other words, if you want accurate information, you must read every post in every thread. And that's only if people are willing to take the time to correct misinformation, and do so in a separate thread.

Misinformation

The case to mentioned in the summary involved someone posting 5 pieces of misinformation in 2 posts. Kitco wanted that information there, uncorrected. They also stated "[correcting facts] in that thread is not helpful". They said that corrections could be posted again, but that if others bickered about it, the posts would be deleted or moved (now giving others the opportunity to decide if misinformation should be corrected). And they said that if there was incorrect information in the Harvey Organ thread that came directly from the Harvey Organ blog, it should not be corrected because that would be "bickering." And that posting corrections "causes argumentative bickering." From the best I can tell, they would rather that nobody post the truth, so they don't have to deal with moderating the bickering.

Another example of misinformation is a thread that someone started about how COMEX margin increases would prevent people from taking delivery of silver on COMEX. The second post in the thread (within minutes of the original post) corrected this, but the thread immediately got nonsense posts ("stick it to the man!") and quickly changed subjects, generating over 200 posts. While the truth was in there, it became very easy to overlook. Later, that second post was edited to add a note about how the thread had gone off-topic, and rather than delete just that part, the moderators deleted the whole post (removing correct information while leaving misinformation).

Unwritten Policies

The 12+ Kitco moderators have a seemingly endless list of rules. For a large forum, that is not so unusual. However, they have unwritten rules as well (like the linking policy below). Rather than add a new rule that they know may make them look bad, they will just silently moderate posts that violate it.

Inappropriate Moderation

Much of the Kitco Forums moderation, while extreme, is appropriate. However, there is quite a bit of inappropriate moderation.

For example, they often silently delete posts without even informing the poster (one day, a popular poster had 2 of their 4 posts silently removed).

They also play favorites, a major moderation 'no-no'. For example, there are cases where 2 people will both violate rules, and the worse behavior will be overlooked, while the poster with the lesser violation will be suspended. In another case, one person posted about a new law that could affect the silver markets, but when another started a new thread with more details, it was removed to a hidden members-only forum that few venture into.

Another problem is that while their rules specifically prevent members from posting vulgar or offensive material (including "Posts must not include profanity, sexually-oriented material..."), they allow at least 3 members to have vulgar usernames referring to sexual acts (entering any of those usernames into Google brings up porn sites). Every time those people post, they are violating the rules. The moderators are aware, yet allow it.

Kitco moderators will often change the meaning of a message, usually by moving it to another thread (where the context of the post is gone). Sometimes, the actual message is modified (a quick Google search shows 4,880 hits for 'last edited by ynot2k', one of the most extreme moderators).

Kitco Moderator's Linking Policy

Kitco moderators have an unwritten (but very clear) policy that nobody is allowed to post any hyperlinks (e.g. clickable links) to any website that they are affiliated with. What this means is that when a newbie posts a link to a blog full of misinformation, Google sees that as Kitco giving the bogus blog a "thumbs up", and anyone can easily get to the site. Sites that members are affiliated with, however, have to appear as text, which both [1] shows Google that Kitco treats that site neutrally (actually, negatively, as there is no worse treatment for a link), and [2] users cannot easily get to the link (they have to cut and paste the link into their browser).