Translating/Transcribing postcard messages

And for my second question - What exactly has happened that has made you so convinced the translation topic is such a huge problem?


I do not wish to discuss it in public because it may involve specific people or personal experiences. Then, again, the problem I’ve spotted is structural and it does not need “victims” to prove it true.

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Okay. That is your right.

I would say though that the closing of the translation thread would mean more backs posted out in the wider internet, and complicating the process with a “PM me to help with this card” will mean more people will choose to just post it to Facebook or even twitter to get help because it’s easier.

Not to mention if it’s a handwriting issue, someone might offer to help and not be able to read the writing anyway, meaning it’s going to take longer to get help.

I would suggest the first post in the translation thread be updated to remind people to cover personal information before posting though.


To add, I’m convinced because, at a conceptual level, I believe these two principles are integral to Postcrossing:

  • Senders are the most vulnerable party
  • Presumption of privacy

Some may argue that the senders are the most vulnerable party in the process because they give out their addresses. However, if we were to dwell on this point, Postcrossing in its current format will no longer hold (say, a centralized mail processing system would be required). So I also assume a certain trust level in the system but the official translation thread is encroaching on trust.

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So this is basically Alternative 1 in the OP.

You’re discussing your general problem and suggestions broadly in public, but if someone asks what exactly the problem is you refuse an answer. I find this strange, really. :face_with_raised_eyebrow:

I looked at the little statistics info on the main website. In the last hour 307 postcards were recieved. If I sum it up, this will make roundly 50.000 official postcards a week. That’s a conservative estimation, probably there are more.

In the last seven days, there were 6 postcard backs posted in the translation thread, one is from 1956, so there are 5 official cards’ backsides shown in extracts in this topic.

As you couldn’t mention any examples of data shown in other sections of the forum, we’re talking about 0,0001% of the official Postcrossing cards.

So I’m absolutely convinced that there isn’t the huge problem you’re painting here, which would require a change of the terms and conditions. They only should display the broad rules. I refer to my argument above.

And @varn, it would be really nice if you referred to my concern I voiced about posting private data in private messages, where the data will stay forever because moderators don’t see it and can’t delete it, and where’s the risk that the person displays the data elsewhere. If you don’t answer, then I’ll assume that I’ve hit the spot and you’re out of arguments.


Well, it’s somewhere on the forum, notably the translation thread, hence my proposal. If it’s elsewhere, apply the same measure there. A small but real chance here. Thanks for the calculations.

And again you’re completely ignoring the content of my argument.

What do you say about the fact that only 0,0001% of cards are affected by being shown in extracts in the translation thread? Only 5 out of 50.000? And the pictures will be deleted in time, which wouldn’t be the case if they were sent to others by private message.


Ditto. A small but real chance. I’d like to see the loophole plugged. Not worthwhile to bend the rules for that.

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The rules are not “bent”, there’s one small exception allowed. In German you call this “Ermessen”, juridical discretion.


Actually, @Cassisia has made a very good point regarding personal information.

Posting in the translation thread, people do (or should) cover all of that. Sending by PM feels more “private” and people may not bother.

There’s no loophole to BE plugged. A scant amount of cards get posted here, where they can be moderated, when people need help understanding them.

Every single “solution” you’ve suggested takes away that ability to moderate the cards and remove the ones with information showing. Every single suggestion pushes people out to other forums, other places on the web where they can’t be moderated.

I understand you’re upset about something that happened relating to the translation thread, but there isn’t a broader issue. You’re behaving like someone who dropped their keys down a drain and is now demanding all drains be closed over.


Point invalidated in Alternative 2 in the OP.

It’s a vivid comparison. I’d rather say it’s one drain (translation or posting writings publicly) among all the other drains (sending, receiving, sharing non-writing portions, etc) that I want to see closed over.

Yes, because something nebulous happened to you. To you personally. If that thing had happened to someone else would you be quite so stubborn on this?

Okay another example. Let’s say I put in my profile “Please do not send me spider cards” and someone does. Should I come to the forum and demand all cards are pre-screened by Postcrossing admins because I got something I don’t want? Even if I’m phobic and it gave me a fright?

Postcrossing is about a collective group of people, and there will be aspects that some people don’t like or don’t agree with or whatever. I don’t mean to be offensive here Varn, but you are just one of those people. You’re entitled, of course, to your very strong opinion.

(PS I love spiders and am not phobic, I just needed a good example of an unwanted type of card).


I think some mind experiments or mock exercises would be a good start for those who demand “real victims”.

Let’s suppose A joins the forum at some point and accidentally finds a postcard is published there with the ID and message in full view, A is upset and decides to complain.

Let’s also suppose B joins the forum at some point and accidentally finds a postcard is published there with only the message in full view, B is still upset because that’s not what he expected. B decides to complain.

There can be C, D and so on. Just two personas for the moment.

How would you handle such complaints?

The sender should’ve been more considerate. That’s individual behavior that is not really the focus of the discussion. The translation thread is official so I’m building a case against it here. For details, refer to my OP.

(I mentioned, but I understand it’s a long thread. On the decorating thread there has been whole address readable.)
This conversation starts to repeat itself, but if it’s this little, why keep the translation thread? It’s pointless, because apparently so many cards are also shown elsewhere. Now the translating thread encourages people to publish card somewhere, because it’s allowed here too.
It’s only so few who would not understand their card, or: they would make more effort to understand it. Like pointed out, there are even clearly written card, published there perhaps out of lazyness to even try to read it.

If so little would be more on the Facebook etc, it wouldn’t matter. And it’s not likely all these few would be added elsewhere. Maybe not even one.

But this is not told in the rules.
Also this is not something one should expect to happen. It’s the opposite, it’s told to keep private information private, not to scan message side, this gives the impression that privacy is kept here.
There is no reason why someone would think the message side publishing is allowed.

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How is a good argument “invalidated” just because another person has another opinion? Perhaps now your argument has been made invalid?

It’s not you to decide which argument is valid just because you’ve created this topic. I must say that I find this attitude slightly disturbing.


This is not the same type problem.
A little same type would be, if it were told not to send spider cards to anybody in the rules.
Now the rules clearly say, one can send what card they want. So also spider, to a phobic.
And people with phobia agree with that, when they join.

I never agreed my message being published here, because it’s not even hinted.

Also, it’s not good to bring any other imaginary problems here. It’s doesn’t make this one disappear :slight_smile: nor it’s not a solution, because like most understand, you can reply to any problem with “what about x and y then”.

Because it doesn’t concern a majority of the users, but only 0,0001%, which is a vanishing remote amount. (I can repeat myself too.)


It is a possibility it can concern me.

Also it puts a random threat to a user, because there is no way of knowing when my message is published there.

Each member is equal, so there should be equal privacy to each, and no ones message published.