Why does Fairphone forum restrict access from Japan?

Hello, Fairphone forum admins and moderators.

I’m living in Japan, and registered my account at Fairphone forum before and used to read discussions and subscribe threads that I was interested in.

The other day, however, I found I couldn’t access Fairphone forum anymore, saying “This community is not accessible in your location.”. I can still access the forum via some VPN or proxy, but it is not very convenient.

I know Fairphone is running business mainly in Europe and North America, but why did you begin restricting access from Japan even just to read the discussion forum?

I had a contact with Fairphone customer support at first, but they told me to ask you about the issue because the forum is run and managed by the forum moderators.

Regards,
Yuji Nakao

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Here’s an explanation.

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I would add that this decision seems not to be made by forum voluntary moderators but by Fairphone side admins, contrary to what has been suggested.

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Let’s just clear this up, so we would know for sure:

@leomakkinje (as you’ve noticed the previous post): Were the community moderators involved in this decision?

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The community moderators were not involved in this decision.

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Thanks, so support instead of pointing here could answer something like …

"We are glad about your interest in us and our community, so we are really sorry to inform you that we are deliberately blocking access to the community forum from certain countries because 99% of forum sign-ups from those countries are spam accounts. As the forum is not an official Fairphone communication channel and because moderation is purely done by community volunteers it’s been decided to make their lives as easy as possible by blocking traffic from those countries. The country disallow-list has been enabled in the course of the year 2023.
We apologise for any resulting inconvenience but kindly ask for your understanding. Our advice in this case would be to use VPN services or other proxy means to circumvent the blocking."

@anna_jopp: Could Fairphone support please consider this or come up with something along those lines for future cases?
I’m sure the decision is understandable to users around the world, and there are still means to access the forum, so support just have to be up-to-date about how this situation came to pass and what interested users can do about it.

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@ynakao Welcome to the forum anyway!

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Thank you all for information and kind words!

It’s sad some countries are on the disallow-list, but it’s also understandable considering the situation.
I hope these restrictions will be gotten rid of someday.

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Thank you very much for this draft, @AnotherElk. I forwarded your suggestion to customer support and they will implement this or something similar. :slight_smile:

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I use this on my forum, works pretty well:

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