Is This Forum's Free Speech Compromised?

Black Hole

May contain traces of nut
Reference this topic (now closed):

http://hummy.tv/forum/threads/1-03-12-otas-to-resume.4973/page-2#post-64253

In summary: a certain member (not noted for tact and diplomacy, it has to be said) posted a remark about posts on the MyHumax forum by someone over there who is noted to drip-feed information apparently directly from within Humax and be pretty teasing about it. The post, in my opinion, was not particularly abusive, and yet was taken down.

It has since been reported that the removal was in response to a complaint from a member, although I don't think we were aware that the member of MyHumax is also a member here (maybe a lurker). Regardless, I do not think this bodes well for the fairness, free speech principles, and editorial independence of this forum.

Some people have remarked this does not bother them much. That's up to them. My view is that the operators of this forum have a responsibility to the members to be absolutely straight, and if not then the degree to which the forum is partisan should be made clear in the T&Cs.

Posts should not be removed just because somebody doesn't like the content. Posters on forums need to develop a thick skin, because there will always be somebody who disagrees with them and is prepared to say so. In this particular case (referring to material on another forum posted by somebody not known on this forum), there is no reason to take content down at all unless the language was obscene. If a poster is compromised by his position and cannot reveal information which is obvious by its omission, he should say so otherwise will appear duplicitous.

Why does this matter?

A good number of people have contributed thousands of hours providing material to this forum and its wider ecology voluntarily, in the belief that it is independent and fair. Further, appeals have been launched for funds to help keep the forum on the air, and many people have coughed up real money to do so, again with no knowledge that the operators of this forum have a hidden agenda. That's why it matters.
 

ChrisDaniels

Well-Known Member
There is no hidden agenda, it's called moderation. It's a moderators job to act on complaints and keep the forum in check. This forum is not a special case. Abuse and non humax related content do not belong here as far as I'm concerned.
 
OP
Black Hole

Black Hole

May contain traces of nut
No, it is a moderators job to look into complaints and only act if the complaint is justified on the basis of specific offences such as contravening the published T&Cs or libel. Comments that some particular person might not like are not necessarily libellous. In this case it is my opinion that the particular post removed was fair comment, and it is not up to any one operator of the forum to unilaterally decide otherwise.

Another reason to remove posts is when the purpose of the topic is being polluted, but in that case a view has to be taken on whether the deviation off-topic has reached a conclusion and can be removed without harm, or should be moved to another topic elsewhere. In this case the relevant posts should have been moved to continue the debate rather than locking the topic.

I know full well the moderators tread a fine line and mistakes can be made, sometimes irreversibly. When and if a mistake is made it is best to admit it. In this case, I say that whatever complaint was received it was not treated with sufficient scepticism and has the appearance of kowtow.

This harks back to a point I have raised before: I (for one) am quite happy that this forum is run as a benevolent autocracy, but it risks descending into a dictatorship. The self-appointed operators of the forum must be fair and be seen to be fair. In acting to remove a post in response to a complaint, at the very least the complaint and their adjudication should be made known to the defendant. Above all however, my recollection of the post in question is that it commented on the behaviour of a poster on another forum, was not defamatory, and had no cause to be removed.

I might not like what he says, but I defend to the death his right to say it.
 
OP
Black Hole

Black Hole

May contain traces of nut
No individual opinion should count exclusively. Did you read the post in question? If not, you are not in a position to judge. In any case, one doesn't have to read the content to support the principles of free speech.

Yes, prpr gets up everybody's nose at times, and needs to be moderated at times - but this was not one of them. Summarily removing a post because (apparently) one non-member (or at least someone who has not made himself apparent on this forum) objects is not consistent with supporting the open discussion of all things Humax on this forum.

PS: delinquent apostrophe.
 

Wallace

Traveler 34122
I personally found the post very abusive, and although I am glad it has been removed, it was not me that reported it.
 

raydon

Well-Known Member
I personally found the post very abusive, and although I am glad it has been removed, it was not me that reported it.
No one said it was, and you should not feel the need to defend yourself by this denial. No one is on trial here, regardless of BH's self appointment as prosecution lawyer.
 

Brian

Administrator
Staff member
No individual opinion should count exclusively. Did you read the post in question? If not, you are not in a position to judge. In any case, one doesn't have to read the content to support the principles of free speech.

Yes, prpr gets up everybody's nose at times, and needs to be moderated at times - but this was not one of them. Summarily removing a post because (apparently) one non-member (or at least someone who has not made himself apparent on this forum) objects is not consistent with supporting the open discussion of all things Humax on this forum.
For information, the post was reported by a member of THIS forum (Not a non-member), using the report post feature, there was no need to make himself apparent.
Since then, there has been another post reported by another different member of This forum, and I have been contacted personally by the Admin of another forum, requesting that these posts be removed.
 

Mike0001

Well-Known Member
Where exactly are these terms and conditions published ? I must be missing something obvious since I can find no reference to them anywhere on the forum.

I recall when this forum was set up there was a request that we should not be argumentative. Is that a T&C?
 
OP
Black Hole

Black Hole

May contain traces of nut
Where exactly are these terms and conditions published ? I must be missing something obvious since I can find no reference to them anywhere on the forum.
Exactly.

I have been contacted personally by the Admin of another forum, requesting that these posts be removed.
On what grounds?? Would that admin be similarly sympathetic if somebody here threatened free speech over there???

There seem to be a remarkable number of supporters of censorship and ivory towers stepping forward.

User "Barry" on forum MyHumax seems to disclose information when it suits him, rarely if ever provides corroboration or sources, and appears to be economical with it without explanation. That unsubstantiated "information" gets commented on over here, and prpr (in his typical style) expresses his opinion on the reliability of that information. Under the reasonable standards of a free and fair press in democratic society, how is censorship justifiable? I say it is not, and that any attempts to impose censorship should also be published.

Where a post uses immoderate language but is otherwise pertinent to the subject in hand, moderation should edit the post to be acceptable - but suppressing it entirely is censorship and I am steadfastly against.
 
OP
Black Hole

Black Hole

May contain traces of nut
No individual opinion should count exclusively.
Except yours huh UPD, I mean BH.. ;-)
Yeah, right, so stop using UPD.
How does my calling it a UPD as a contraction of USB pen drive (which is in itself a recognised phrase) affect what you want to call it? You guys really need to get a grip on what's important. Either way, you know damn well that's not what I was talking about and is not the subject of this particular discussion.
 

raydon

Well-Known Member
You guys really need to get a grip on what's important.
I think it's you who need to get a grip. This is hummy.tv, not the European Court for Human Rights. Support the moderators instead of writing pages of rhetoric every time they make a decision that doesn't suit you. All in all, they do a good job here and I for one support them in their decisions. If you don't like it then tough, go somewhere else.
 

BMAX

Member
The above post illustrates the whole point of this debate.
It expresses an opinion and is not abusive and thus acceptable.
If the post had also stated that you are a pompous, self opinionated bigot, that would also be an opinion, but would be extremely abusive and certainly not acceptable.
 

raydon

Well-Known Member
How does my calling it a UPD as a contraction of USB pen drive (which is in itself a recognised phrase) affect what you want to call it?
Please don't insult our intelligence by over-simplifying this argument. It was never a case of what we want to call it. The case was everything about whether readers would understand what you choose to call it. The vast majority of responses on this subject indicated that they wouldn't understand, and indeed several posters have had to seek clarification. A fact which you have deliberately chosen to ignore.
It speaks volumes when you resort to hot-linking to a page specially set up by you to explain UPD, rather than just admitting that there are more immediately recognizable terms, not requiring explanation, and using one of those instead.
 

Trev

The Dumb One
The above post illustrates the whole point of this debate.
It expresses an opinion and is not abusive and thus acceptable.
And my opinion is that it's a bit naughty of you to 'hide' your comments behind something that raydon did not say.
 
OP
Black Hole

Black Hole

May contain traces of nut
If the post had also stated that you are a pompous, self opinionated bigot, that would also be an opinion, but would be extremely abusive and certainly not acceptable.
Expressing such an opinion might be abusive, but it is not an abuse if it has foundation.

If I have to write pages of rhetoric in support of the standards of free speech in a society which holds the freedom of the press as a democratic right, that surely says something about the nay-sayers who seem to think free speech means the freedom for them to express opinions that nobody shall contradict. People who express opinions in public must be prepared for criticism or contrary opinions, and if they can't take it then either not have posted in the first place or, as said, go somewhere else.

I alluded earlier to a mistake I made: that was to remove a user from one of the forums I administer having posted what appeared to be spam, only later realising that the useful posts the user had previously posted went as well - irreversibly. I hope I have the probity to distinguish between moderation and censorship, even where an issue might affect me personally I would choose to err on the side of public good, but that appears to be a standard not aspired to by others.

It does at least do this forum's mods/admins some credit that the topic is still present.
 
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