Thursday, November 10, 2011

Making comments/adding subjects

I think the time has come to review the scope of what can be said on this site. Some recent comments have made serious accusations about individuals or businesses, which must at least be upsetting, and at worse could affect business.

Although it may be a shame to limit the possible value of this site by restricting what can be said, it seems only proper that no comments/posts should be made that could be considered libellous. While it can be difficult to prove libel, and to act against those who make such comments, especially if made anonymously, it's only fair to err on the side of caution.

In future, please avoid making any comments that are defamatory, malicious or untrue, whether about individuals or businesses. I'll add racist to that list, too. If you wish to make a comment that might stray into this area, please phrase it in such a way that does not make specific allegations against identifiable individuals or businesses. In future, any comments that are, or may be, potentially libellous will be deleted.

I'm sorry that this will restrict 'freedom of speech', but feel this is the way forward. (Unless anyone can provide clear legal evidence that there is no problem with complete freedom to write anything.)


Anonymous said...

The best thing to do would be to ensure that you have to sign up, or at least put your name to your posts.

That will discourage any libel being posted, or any lies/allegations that aren;t founded.

Yes, i realise the irony of posting this anonymously.

Reece de Ville said...

Agreed. If you're prepared to offer your opinion - why not put your name on a forum?

Or, enter any name you like, but your email address must be registered with the site - that way, you can be banned if comments get out of hand etc. You can still post anonymously with a name of your choice, but The Postman will have a way of stopping the rot.

Otherwise, unfortunately, you'll never be able to manage comments. It's not a loss of freedom of speech, just simple common sense.

Virtual Swanage said...

having a sign up and user for each person was used on a forum we used to have on the Virtual Swanage site but over time the abuse from posters killed the forum as we couldnt keep moderating it 24/7. Its a shame that a few people always spoil things for everyone else. Also as soon as moderation is mentioned, you get the posts about it being a police state and no freedom of speech etc. !

SillyWhim said...

Freedom of speech in the UK does not protect comments which are libellous or slanderous.

It is my assumption that all posts (including this one) register the ISP of the poster.

As such, in an investigation the poster can be tracked. There really isn't any anonymity on the internet.

I have observed slanderous and libelous comments here; I have been the victim of several.

I suggest we take a step back and realise that this is not a forum to spill words that we would not utter in public.

Perhaps some rules would be in order.
Or move this forum (which is 99% of value) to a php forum where everything is tracked.

David Furmage said...

I agree with putting a name to a post , it gives merit to your post. As for certain posts being upsetting well that depends on how strong a person is who is getting the abuse.Don't get me wrong any form of abuse is not on. I for one have received a fair bit of abuse , thou I see it as mindless people who sometimes don't really think about what they are saying. So maybe signing up might encourage a sensible debate about certain subjects ;) I for one have enjoyed posting on here and it must be hard to keep an eye on everything. Keep up the good work and let's hope the people of Swanage and further a field can still have a voice on here;)

Anonymous said...

I agree that some recent comments on the Blog have been nothing short of abusive which is very unwelcome. However, personally I really value the ability to post anonymously. The simple fact is that I wouldn’t be nearly as honest and open if I thought that my identity – and it follows that of my family – could be recognised. Swanage is a small town!

Registering is unlikely to solve the problem as people are likely to use an alias and/or an obscure e-mail address. If the abusers continue to persist then the only option I can see working would be some kind of vetting by the administrator prior to the post appearing on the blog. Some other blogs I use have this in place.