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10yrbr
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[*] posted on 12-3-2015 at 11:31 PM


No I don't.
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[*] posted on 13-3-2015 at 02:30 AM


Quote: Originally posted by 10yrbr  
Too many Russian addresses come up--this seems to be one of the biggest complaints I've read about Postcrossing. I've only sent 7 cards, of which 3 were to Russia and 1 to a Russian temporarily outside Russia. 57% of my postcards going to the same place is boring.


You are only requesting one or two postcards at a time and so when there are no postcards already travelling to a Russian member the system sees you don't have one going there and so allocates that country to you.

The member who is Russian but lives in Spain doesn't count in the scheme of things as their country is Spain.

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[*] posted on 31-3-2015 at 11:48 AM


I wish I could see the stats of number of users and sent postcards by USA states the same way we can see it by country. Still count all 50 states as one country but be able to sort the stats by state. I wonder which state has the most users, etc.

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[*] posted on 16-4-2015 at 12:36 AM


Having been doing this for only about a couple of months, I have to say what I don't like is the total lack of choice. I don't mind getting random addresses, but there are some countries I just have no interest in sending postcards to, and I think there should be the option not to have to.

There are many valid reasons why people might want not want to send or receive postcards from a given country or countries, and I can see nothing in the stated goals or the spirit of Postcrossing that would be violated by such an option.

It would be quite simple to implement: if you choose not to send postcards to a given country, you won't receive any from that country either.
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[*] posted on 16-4-2015 at 10:28 AM


Quote: Originally posted by 10yrbr  

There are many valid reasons why people might want not want to send or receive postcards from a given country or countries, and I can see nothing in the stated goals or the spirit of Postcrossing that would be violated by such an option.

It would be quite simple to implement: if you choose not to send postcards to a given country, you won't receive any from that country either.


I don't think this idea would work out in a good way.

1.Many people who want more 'choice' would use such an option to block common countries like Russia or Germany. The members of those countries already have a deficite in received cards wich would grow larger if people could chose not to send to them. On the other hand members in rare countries would be 'drowned' in postcards because their address would be given out many times. I call this unfair, don't you agree?

2. And what would happen if someone from Russia wants to send a card but all available members would have chosen to block Russia? Should this member get a message like 'Sorry, you can't send any postcard now because nobody wants russian postcards'? This would be discrimination and Postcrossing is clearly against discrimination.
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[*] posted on 16-4-2015 at 11:16 AM


Quote: Originally posted by 10yrbr  
There are many valid reasons why people might want not want to send or receive postcards from a given country or countries, and I can see nothing in the stated goals or the spirit of Postcrossing that would be violated by such an option.


Really? You can't see that it's sort of against what Postcrossing is if you start handpicking your countries? Random means random. If you want to have more control, you better stick to forum activities where you can actively choose which tags or RRs you want to join and which ones you want to avoid.

And Herzmuschel has already explained that apart from being very much against the spirit of Postcrossing, it would also cause all sorts of practical problems.
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[*] posted on 16-4-2015 at 02:05 PM


Quote:

1.Many people who want more 'choice' would use such an option to block common countries like Russia or Germany. The members of those countries already have a deficite in received cards wich would grow larger if people could chose not to send to them. On the other hand members in rare countries would be 'drowned' in postcards because their address would be given out many times. I call this unfair, don't you agree?


Some people might do that. Most wouldn't. And if it was really a concern, which it wouldn't be, there are ways around it.

Quote:

2. And what would happen if someone from Russia wants to send a card but all available members would have chosen to block Russia? Should this member get a message like 'Sorry, you can't send any postcard now because nobody wants russian postcards'? This would be discrimination and Postcrossing is clearly against discrimination.


That's not at all likely.

Quote: Originally posted by siobhan  
Quote: Originally posted by 10yrbr  
There are many valid reasons why people might want not want to send or receive postcards from a given country or countries, and I can see nothing in the stated goals or the spirit of Postcrossing that would be violated by such an option.


Really? You can't see that it's sort of against what Postcrossing is if you start handpicking your countries? Random means random. If you want to have more control, you better stick to forum activities where you can actively choose which tags or RRs you want to join and which ones you want to avoid.


It's not "discrimination." As I said, there are many valid reasons why someone might not want to send to or receive from a certain country. Also, Postcrossing's own FAQ says:

Quote:

Can I choose the country which I will exchange postcards with?
Not at the moment. For now, addresses are chosen randomly from another country (including your own, if you choose that option).


That certainly suggests that such an option could be considered, and there is nothing else I've seen anywhere that precludes it. After all, at present you can choose to block your own country (yes, I know the stated reason for that); this really wouldn't be so different.
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[*] posted on 16-4-2015 at 03:29 PM


Quote: Originally posted by 10yrbr  
Quote:

1.Many people who want more 'choice' would use such an option to block common countries like Russia or Germany. The members of those countries already have a deficite in received cards wich would grow larger if people could chose not to send to them. On the other hand members in rare countries would be 'drowned' in postcards because their address would be given out many times. I call this unfair, don't you agree?


Some people might do that. Most wouldn't. And if it was really a concern, which it wouldn't be, there are ways around it.


Tell me how you would want to prevent that from happening.

Giving limitation on how many countries one can block? If you do that you still cannot tell the people wich countries to block or not to block. And to be realistic its most likely the first countries to be blocked by many users would be the common countries with slow and/or unreliable mail system (Russia and China).
I'm not going to lie, if I had the chance to chose not to send to China ( sorry chinese members) I would be tempted to use it ( despite of knowing that its not fair). Who doesn't like their cards to have a high chance of being received and registered fast? The rare countries and the ones with fast mail system would be favored. And as I have mentioned in my previous post: Favoring one country over the other and therefore denying members their earned postcards is unfair and discriminating.

And would you please tell me some of the "many valid reasons why someone might not want to send to or receive from a certain country"? I cannot think of one exept the mail system. Maybe it'll help me to understand your point of view.
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[*] posted on 16-4-2015 at 05:11 PM


Quote: Originally posted by Herzmuschel  

And would you please tell me some of the "many valid reasons why someone might not want to send to or receive from a certain country"? I cannot think of one exept the mail system. Maybe it'll help me to understand your point of view.


Seriously. I really don't think that if people had this option, they would start blocking India, Belgium or Argentina. We all know what countries people would block: the countries with very slow mail and the very active countries.
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[*] posted on 17-4-2015 at 05:15 PM


If you really think it would not be "fair" to give users the ability to block, for example, Russia if they chose to (which most probably would not) then to stick with the example, you must also think it's unfair that non-Russians are having to wait 60 or 80 plus days for their cards to Russia to be registered, if they're registered at all; are in some cases simply not receiving cards sent from there; and are having to send a disproportionate number of cards to Russia compared to other places.

I can give you one very good example of a reason why a member might not want to send to or receive from a particular country: someone who has fled a country due to persecution or torture. But actually, I don't think there needs to be such a dramatic reason. I think it's absolutely fair and still within the spirit to be able to choose: nobody complains that it's unfair that people can choose not to send cards within a given country; how is this any different?
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[*] posted on 17-4-2015 at 06:53 PM


1.The long travelling times to Russia are not the fault of the Postcrossing website it's the fault of the mail service in that particular country. The current settings in Postrossing give every member the same chance of getting a postcard by giving out their address randomly. Having the same chance of getting something you want regardless of what country you are from is what I'm calling fair. Sure it's annoying to have to wait a long time until your postcard gets registered but you have to keep in mind that the one who received the card had to wait just as long for the card as you. And everyone who wants to send a card has the same chance of drawing an address to a 'slow' country or to a 'fast' country. The world is not fair but I think Postcrossing as it is now makes a good job in giving every member equal rights(= being fair).

2. I can understand this example but I think it's very unlikely that governments or terrorist groups would start to use Postcrossing to find a person they are searching for. And it's more unlikely for them to succeed. Remember the addresses are given randomly. And if someone had these concerns then they could contact Postcrossing directly about it or use a PO Box or not giving their full name in the address or start to use the forum where they have more contol over who gets their address. I still don't see the need to implement an option wich would bear the danger of discrimination.

3. You wrote earlier that you understood the reasons for the 'don't send to my own country'-option. There are only so much members in one country. It is secure that there are enough members in the rest of the world to ensure the members in your own country get the postcards they deserve even if you block them, there is a balance. By everyone being able to block every country they want there is a high chance of members in common and 'slow' countries to not getting what they deserve. The balance would be put at risk. People would block certain countries because they want more choice, don't like the long travelling times or for whatever reason. You were told before:The rare countries and the ones with fast mail system would be favored. Favoring one country over the other and therefore denying members their earned postcards is unfair and discriminating = against the Postcrossing spirit.
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[*] posted on 17-4-2015 at 07:05 PM


@10yrbr, it is clear to me that this is your one thing you would like to change about postcrossing. And as you said, Postcrossing writes about this:
Can I choose the country which I will exchange postcards with?
Not at the moment. For now, addresses are chosen randomly from another country (including your own, if you choose that option). So maybe in the future it is reality.
This topic is for the one thing you like to chance and everything is welcome in this topic, if it is realistic or not.

Interesting to know is IF everyone would block Russia and China, as Incrou7 suggests. We do not know. I sent a lot to Russia (26.4% of all my cards, 48.2% from all my cards in 2014 and 2015), I won't block Russia!

Note that there are half a million postcrosserusers and just very little have registered to the forum. Those who have registered to the forum are not all active. Then we have a large group who is not active in postcrossing but only using the forum for swapping, tagging and lotteries. Here on the forum we are not representative for the avarage postcrosser to my opinion. So maybe the proposal to block does work out very well.

If country blocking is implemented it would be a suggestion to start at the bottom-end. From country 101 Aland Island with 1023 sent. To block as many as you want. Every now and then it can moves up until country number 1.

Then I would like to block on gender / sexe as well! Or age??

Ofcourse with the intention that we can change as often as we want, like now the 'sent to your own country', 'repeated country' options.

I am happy as it is right now.

Postcrossing is not for country collections, but it also not for sent a card -> receive a card from a random member. Postcrossing can block certain members for you.

Just for those who think Postcrossing is not blocking countries at the moment: Blocking countries is done for you by Postcrossing everyday:
As there is a certain number of postcards travelling to you from country A, your address is blocked for that country, no one will receive your address.
The same for sending cards - after a certain number of cards you have travelling to country A, the system will block you for receiving more addresses from that country.
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[*] posted on 17-4-2015 at 07:08 PM


p.s. Postcrossing is only fair for the
'sent a card, receive a card' quote.

If you leave out the factor 'country' there would be no problem at all. [is it???]
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[*] posted on 17-4-2015 at 07:39 PM


Quote: Originally posted by mtts  
p.s. Postcrossing is only fair for the
'sent a card, receive a card' quote.


That doesn't seem to be entirely correct - very often when one of my cards has been registered, my address has been given out multiple times. This seems to have been happening to a lot of people for a while now.
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[*] posted on 17-4-2015 at 11:51 PM


Quote: Originally posted by mtts  
Just for those who think Postcrossing is not blocking countries at the moment: Blocking countries is done for you by Postcrossing everyday:
As there is a certain number of postcards travelling to you from country A, your address is blocked for that country, no one will receive your address.
The same for sending cards - after a certain number of cards you have travelling to country A, the system will block you for receiving more addresses from that country.


That's a big difference though to members choosing which countries to block. Postcrossing does this to keep the variety as big as possible - not to reduce it. And the system will only go to a certain point in blocking countries - you will get repetitions, both for outgoing and incoming postcards. And it doesn't block certain countries entirely, it just blocks an address from a certain country at one particular moment. Next time, you might just get exactly that country. And you do not get to choose which addresses are held back or which user in which country does not get your address.

I think it is fair and realistic to assume that most people, if they chose to block one or several countries, would block very active countries and/or countries with slow mail service. Some members might also choose to block countries their own country is in conflict with, or that they themselves have had bad experiences with, but to how many of us does that even pertain? It's very true that the forum users are not representative of the whole postcrossing community, but how many (usually new) members have started threads asking "why do I always get addresses in Russia?", or "how can I send less to Russia?" - and how many have complained about Iceland, Australia or Chile? There's your answer as to which countries would be blocked by the majority of those you would even use the option.
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[*] posted on 18-4-2015 at 12:44 AM


Quote:

The long travelling times to Russia are not the fault of the Postcrossing website it's the fault of the mail service in that particular country.


I didn't say it was anyone's fault. I'm merely pointing out that these are things that could also be considered "unfair." Users whose cards take months to be registered are allowed fewer cards travelling, which means fewer cards they can receive.

Quote:

I can understand this example but I think it's very unlikely that governments or terrorist groups would start to use Postcrossing to find a person they are searching for.


I don't think it's likely at all, nor would it be likely to succeed, but again, that's not the point I'm making. I'm merely pointing out that having been a victim of torture is one reason why someone might not want to send cards to or receive them from a particular country.

Quote:

How many (usually new) members have started threads asking "why do I always get addresses in Russia?", or "how can I send less to Russia?"


Well, there you are. It's evident that Russia represents a problem in that people feel that they're being made to send cards there too often, among other reasons (e.g. the one given above). In other words, there's dissatisfaction among some Postcrossers. Likely most would not, but given the choice, yes, some people would block countries that are "slow" or that come up repeatedly. But at the end of the day we're supposed to be doing this for enjoyment; clearly there is a problem if people feel they're being burdened by having to do something they don't want to do in order to participate. And let's not forget that just one postcard can represent a not insignificant cost as well.

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[*] posted on 18-4-2015 at 11:35 AM


Maybe I've missed something, but so far the only one of "many valid reasons" to want to block certain countries you mentioned has been one you yourself say is unlikely to occur. I'm confused now. :D

Life in general is not fair. But you cannot counter that unfairness by making Postcrossing less fair as well. Postcrossing aims at keeping things as fair as possible, while at the same time keeping the system as random as possible. This has become a lot harder in the last few years because you simply don't have the same number of users from all countries, and in some places mail is considerably slower than in others. There is nothing that can be done about that, not by us or Postcrossing at any rate. [I'd like to point out that the Russian mail service has actually improved quite a bit since they had that crisis a while back.] Postcrossing is a community where every user should be treated equal, and every country, too. Everyone sends a lot to Russia, so in that respect it is fair.

People send to Russia a lot because there are many active postcrossers in Russia. There are also many active postcrossers in Germany, the US, Taiwan (to name a few), but because the postal services there work faster, it's not considered such a big problem. The Russians deserve to receive a card back for each one they sent, like everyone else. It feels wrong to punish them for being enthusiastic members of our community while living in a country with mediocre postal service, by allowing users to block their country.

I believe the biggest problem Postcrossing is facing at the moment is how to deal with the country imbalances. Some countries have huge numbers of active members, while some countries are sorely underrepresented, causing an awkward situation. By being able to block certain countries (and don't kid yourself, it would be mostly big and slow countries that would be blocked), this problem would only increase. Of course we're doing Postcrossing for fun, but when one person's fun decreases someone else's fun, it gets dicey.

Quote: Originally posted by 10yrbr  
Well, there you are. It's evident that Russia represents a problem in that people feel that they're being made to send cards there too often, among other reasons (e.g. the one given above). In other words, there's dissatisfaction among some Postcrossers. Likely most would not, but given the choice, yes, some people would block countries that are "slow" or that come up repeatedly. But at the end of the day we're supposed to be doing this for enjoyment; clearly there is a problem if people feel they're being burdened by having to do something they don't want to do in order to participate. And let's not forget that just one postcard can represent a not insignificant cost as well.
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[*] posted on 18-4-2015 at 01:56 PM


Quote:

Maybe I've missed something, but so far the only one of "many valid reasons" to want to block certain countries you mentioned has been one you yourself say is unlikely to occur. I'm confused now.


Your confusion lies in the fact that I was asked to give one example and I gave one. And what I referred to as unlikely was not the reason itself, but Herzmuschel's misunderstanding of what my point was in giving it.

And I think you're missing the larger point too: it's not about giving users the ability to block certain countries because their postal systems are slow or they're overrepresented in the Postcrossing system. It's about allowing users who don't want to send to or receive from certain countries the ability to do that, whatever their reasons are. If some users want to block particular countries because they're tired of sending postcards there, then so be it. That's reasonable and fair.

But since you bring it up ("Everyone sends a lot to Russia, so in that respect it is fair"), the more I hear about how many postcards people are sending to Russia, the more unfair it sounds. In other words, by mere virtue of having a Russian address, Postcrossers have far more variety in where they send cards and where they get them from, and if they block Russia then they get even more variety.

As you say, when one person's fun decreases someone else's fun, it gets dicey. Well from all the comments I've read about people complaining about sending to Russia, it's evident that's already happening. It's all very well to keep saying "it's not fair to Russian users," but maybe one of the reasons they're overrepresented is that other people become less active precisely because to preserve Russian users' variety everyone else is forced to have less.

So why not give people the choice? Let them choose, but if there's a massive concern that droves of people will abandon Russia--and if there is, that only shows that there is an actual problem--then reduce the number of cards people can have travelling if they choose to "reduce" the number of countries they're willing to send to.

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[*] posted on 18-4-2015 at 03:58 PM


So what are these other "valid reasons"? I'm confused as well as I can't think of any apart from the fact that postal services in some countries are pretty slow/unreliable, which can be frustrating to people.
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[*] posted on 18-4-2015 at 08:12 PM


Quote: Originally posted by 10yrbr  


Well, there you are. It's evident that Russia represents a problem in that people feel that they're being made to send cards there too often, among other reasons (e.g. the one given above). In other words, there's dissatisfaction among some Postcrossers. Likely most would not, but given the choice, yes, some people would block countries that are "slow" or that come up repeatedly. But at the end of the day we're supposed to be doing this for enjoyment; clearly there is a problem if people feel they're being burdened by having to do something they don't want to do in order to participate. And let's not forget that just one postcard can represent a not insignificant cost as well.



So let me get this straight. You think it is unfair that some people have to send to the same countries over and over and your proposed solution is to be unfair to other people by allowing people to choose not to send them the cards that they are due and further increase the imbalance problem?

What is more unfair? Having to send to the same country over and over or sending cards and not getting any in return? You've said it yourself, the cost of sending cards is not insignificant. Therefore we need to make sure that people who have spent money sending cards are at least receiving one for each one they send.

I'm sorry, but I think that if people feel burden by doing something they don't feel like doing in order to participate, and that they don't understand that the thing they don't like is what makes the system work, then they can just leave.
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[*] posted on 18-4-2015 at 08:20 PM


Quote:

You think it is unfair that some people have to send to the same countries over and over and your proposed solution is to be unfair to other people by allowing people to choose not to send them the cards that they are due and further increase the imbalance problem? What is more unfair? Having to send to the same country over and over or sending cards and not getting any in return? You've said it yourself, the cost of sending cards is not insignificant. Therefore we need to make sure that people who have spent money sending cards are at least receiving one for each one they send.


That actually wasn't my original point, but the fact that Russia keeps getting brought up over and over again is indicative of the fact that there's a problem. But how would giving people the option to choose not to send to or receive from certain countries result in nobody from Russia ever receiving postcards? That would not happen.
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[*] posted on 18-4-2015 at 08:27 PM


Quote: Originally posted by 10yrbr  
Quote:


That actually wasn't my original point, but the fact that Russia keeps getting brought up over and over again is indicative of the fact that there's a problem. But how would giving people the option to choose not to send to or receive from certain countries result in nobody from Russia ever receiving postcards? That would not happen.


No, you are right. There are still people who would send to Russia. I know I would. But there are a lot who wouldn't and that would only make the problem worse. The last thing we need is to make a problem worse. I could never enjoy sending to a bigger variety of countries knowing that I'm participating in worsening a problem.
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[*] posted on 18-4-2015 at 10:55 PM


Quote: Originally posted by 10yrbr  
And I think you're missing the larger point too: it's not about giving users the ability to block certain countries because their postal systems are slow or they're overrepresented in the Postcrossing system. It's about allowing users who don't want to send to or receive from certain countries the ability to do that, whatever their reasons are. If some users want to block particular countries because they're tired of sending postcards there, then so be it. That's reasonable and fair.


I may indeed be missing your larger point (to me, the whole idea sounds rather pointless), but I never thought or said you wanted to introduce that option in order to block countries because of their postal system. I am just saying that I believe that is what would happen. So far you have not given us all those other "valid" reasons for wanting to block certain countries, and it seems nobody else here can think of any.

And I actually understand the wish to block certain countries to get more variety or to be able to send more and faster. But I disagree that this would be fair, or in the spirit of Postcrossing, and the system would break down. It's already in trouble because of imbalances. Postcrossing, like life, can never be 100 % fair, but it should (and does) always aim to get as close as possible. I still don't see how your idea helps.
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[*] posted on 18-4-2015 at 10:58 PM


Quote: Originally posted by lncrou7  
Quote: Originally posted by 10yrbr  

That actually wasn't my original point, but the fact that Russia keeps getting brought up over and over again is indicative of the fact that there's a problem. But how would giving people the option to choose not to send to or receive from certain countries result in nobody from Russia ever receiving postcards? That would not happen.


No, you are right. There are still people who would send to Russia. I know I would. But there are a lot who wouldn't and that would only make the problem worse. The last thing we need is to make a problem worse. I could never enjoy sending to a bigger variety of countries knowing that I'm participating in worsening a problem.


10yrbr, it doesn't matter that it wasn't your original point. It is something that has to be to put into consideration when implementing the new option you want. You haven't said how you would prevent people from misusing the option and the scenario given as an example could occur (and no, many people blocking slow/common countries is not as unlikely as you believe).
And adding to lncrou7s point: The users who would still be sending to Russia would now get all the addresses to Russia because they have to compensate for the users who blocked that country. This would be a disatvantage for them because their variety of countries to send to or receive from would be limited without them wanting it. And this could lead to even more users blocking Russia.
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10yrbr
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[*] posted on 18-4-2015 at 11:13 PM



Quote:

I may indeed be missing your larger point (to me, the whole idea sounds rather pointless), but I never thought or said you wanted to introduce that option in order to block countries because of their postal system. I am just saying that I believe that is what would happen. So far you have not given us all those other "valid" reasons for wanting to block certain countries, and it seems nobody else here can think of any. And I actually understand the wish to block certain countries to get more variety or to be able to send more and faster. But I disagree that this would be fair, or in the spirit of Postcrossing, and the system would break down. It's already in trouble because of imbalances. Postcrossing, like life, can never be 100 % fair, but it should (and does) always aim to get as close as possible. I still don't see how your idea helps.


Yes, you've said so before, scarequotes and all. But it seems you yourself see wanting to blook certain countries in order to get more variety or to be able to send more and faster as "valid," so there's another one or two or three valid reasons for you.

Look, in my view it doesn't matter what the reason is: if someone wants to not send to or receive from a particular country, they should have that choice and it shouldn't be necessary to vet whether or not anyone else thinks their reason is "valid."

As to the question of fairness, I think a lot of people would argue that the current situation with regard to Russia isn't fair, which is probably why Russia comes up every single time somebody has a complaint about Postcrossing.

Quote:

You haven't said how you would prevent people from misusing the option and the scenario given as an example could occur (and no, many people blocking slow/common countries is not as unlikely as you believe).And adding to lncrou7s point: The users who would still be sending to Russia would now get all the addresses to Russia because they have to compensate for the users who blocked that country. This would be a disatvantage for them because their variety of countries to send to or receive from would be limited without them wanting it. And this could lead to even more users blocking Russia.


So you're willing to send postcards to Russia, but only to a certain point? Isn't that precisely what people are saying when they complain about how many of their cards go to Russia? So what's that cutoff?

And I have said two things: first, I don't think there's any reason why a user shouldn't block a given country, so I don't think there is such a thing as "misuse," and second, if the fear is that there would be a massive drop in people willing to send to Russia (which, again, if true is indicative that there is a problem), then allow fewer travelling cards for those who choose to block any country but their own.
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