Join Date: May 2006
Ethics and Policies
I wish to raise a matter that I would like the moderators and members of this Forum to consider.
I have noted a recent increase in threads that are started in this Forum by people known to be dealers or sellers of keris.
These threads are presented as "for your appreciation", "for comments", "to share" etc, etc, type threads, but in fact are thinly disguised advertisements that seek a free appraisal.
Once the thread is up for comment those of us who are able to comment have, I believe, the obligation to comment, as if we do not, inaccurate comment by others could mislead prospective buyers, either positively, or negatively.
However, there is a distinct danger here also, as it is often very, very difficult to accurately appraise any keris from photos. If the appraisal given, either by a single person with knowledge, or by group concensus, is a positive one, it will be used in promotion of the item to be offered for sale. If it is a negative appraisal, the item in question will be reworked and then offered for sale without the appraisal.
In effect, to a large degree I believe that this Forum has become a master class for dealers , as well as an educational facility for students and collectors of the keris.
I personally do not believe that this usage of the Forum by dealers is to the long term benefit of collectors and students of the keris.
Because a dealer must sell his stock.
If an item of stock is identified as unacceptable the dealer will rework that piece to make it acceptable, or will direct it into an area where he knows his deception will not be recognised.
The unknowledgeable collector will be taken advantage of by the unethical dealer.
Ultimately all of us will suffer.
Some years ago I recall discussion in the main Forum, before the Warung was hived off. This discussion was to the effect that it was dangerous to make too much information publicly available as this then provided a work plan or road map for those who wished to deceive.
We already have a ban on providing valuations.
We have a ban on discussion of items up for auction.
I have some difficulty in coming to terms with the fact that we are prepared to provide appraisals of items that are being offered for sale, or will be offered for sale.
Some of you will know that as a hobby, I deal in keris and I regularly offer a catalogue of keris that I have for sale.
Would it be acceptable for me to publish photos " for comment" of the items that I will include in an upcoming catalogue?
I would suggest that such an action would be totally unacceptable, unethical, and in fact a misuse of this Forum.
At the moment I cannot suggest a remedy for what I see as misuse of this Forum by sellers, to obtain free advertising and appraisals, but I do think that our moderators should consider this question, and that any members with opinions should make those opinions known.