An Important Announcement Regarding our Zello Channel

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team
Other Apple Chat

We believe that our Zello channel offers a great opportunity to connect with other members of the community and talk about the things that interest us as vision-impaired users of Apple products.

Unfortunately, a user or two can spoil things for everyone in a channel. Usually, these are people who have no interest in the channel itself, but get their kicks from harassing genuine users. This has become an escalating problem for us over recent months - mainly because Zello changed the way that channels are listed, which made it far more likely that this type of idiot will find the AppleVis Channel.

A number of our regular users of the channel have the ability to block users, but we simply cannot guarantee that somebody will always be available to monitor the channel and block anybody behaving inappropriately.

So, we have decided to restrict access to the channel by making it password protected.

It is a shame that this is necessary, but it is important that we protect the integrity of the channel and ensure that it continues to be the great resource that it has become over the past year. We firmly believe that limiting access in this way will help to ensure that the AppleVis Channel is a positive experience for everyone who uses it.

The password that you will need to access the AppleVis Channel is: zellovis

If it is ever necessary to change the password, the current one will always be available from the home page of the AppleVis website.

If you're not familiar with Zello, it's a real-time chat service that enables you to talk with individual users or to join channels where you can engage in group conversations.

Zello offers both an iOS app and a Windows application that can be used to access the service. Both are free to download.

If you want to learn more about using Zello and the AppleVis Channel, you should listen to the podcast recorded by AnonyMouse.

We hope that you will see this as a positive move on our part, and we look forward to chatting with you on Zello.

The AppleVis Editorial Team



Submitted by Ken Downey on Friday, October 12, 2012

Personally, I haven't heard a lot of these idiots on Apple this channel yet, but I'm glad you are putting up the password before things get out of hand. I know more than one person who has stopped using a chat client just because of a few fools. Good move AppleVis!

Submitted by NancyP on Saturday, October 13, 2012

Hi everybody, I'm married to one of the Zello developers. I saw this post and I wanted to respond. At Zello, two major concerns are protecting people's right to free speech and privacy; but at the same time keeping Zello as simple, fun, and practical for ALL who use it. The team has racked their collective brains on how to prevent trolls and spammers from infiltrating the public channels and ruining the community experience. It only takes 1 or 2 to ruin it for all. Zello recently implemented changes to make it harder for trolls to keep coming back under multiple usernames. There is a limit to the number of usernames you can create. Once you exceed it, you're prevented from creating any more for up to a month or even permanently if there is a pattern of abuse. Hopefully, this will cut down on repeat offenders. Zello is also looking at improving filters and adding more reporting mechanisms, so that other users can report violators to Zello and you don't have to be on the channel 24/7 to monitor activity. There are also Community and Moderator Guidelines posted in the Support forum that clearly defines what constitutes a violation, so there is no doubt this type of activity won't be tolerated and that Zello will enforce these guidelines. Zello is also looking to hire paid part-time community managers to help monitor and promote more viable and informative channels. So, Zello is aware of the issues you and others are having and trying to address them. But keep in mind there are only 5 or 6 developers working for Zello at the moment . They are a small team but dedicated to their customers, so I hope you will be patient. As you related in your post, the "problem" with public channels is that if they are healthy and active (like Applevis), they will display on the Trending Channels list. Some channel admins want this kind of exposure to gain alot of subscribers, but unfortunately this also makes them more visible for trolls and spammers. One possible solution Zello is discussing is to let administrators Opt Out of the Trending Channels list. That is, add an option in the app to have your channel excluded from the Trending Channels list, yet keep it public, essentially letting your channel be like it was before, accessible but not publicized to a mass of people. This would make sense for channels/forums that are geared towards a specific topic and/or specific audience. I think this would be a good compromise for all. If you agree, you can send Zello Support an email requesting that they implement this option. But for now, making your channel pw protected is the best option. Ivan, I think maybe you were invited to add the channel by another subscriber? In that case, you are not required to enter the pw initially, it just automatically gets added to your list when you accept the invite. But if you were to try to join the Applevis channel without an invite, a password field does appear. I just tried it on my PC, and I got the popup asking for a pw. HTH.