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Post by Adam D Tue 12 Mar 2013, 1:57 pm

Over the last few days, we have been contacted by the UK Athletics board with regards to comments made on our site.

A thread was posted where correspondance of a personal matter was posted on this site - basically a chain of email correspondance was published on here naming individuals personally at the UK Athletics board.

Unfortunately, this was posted on a thread that was not picked up by our moderators and not reported by our members.

In addition to this, a different member posted a comment along the lines of "I think you should visit that lying cow ******* and punch her in the face!".

The person mentioned in this has reported this comment to the police and the UK Athletics board are talking to their legal team about the situation. It is not in regards to the topic in whole.

The member who made this post has been notified by PM on here and we will be cooperating with both the UK Athletics board and police in whatever way we can within data protection laws.

The lesson learnt from all of this, is that no matter how jovial or tongue in cheek a comment is, that when people mention names and threats, it must remembered that text has no tone and can be interpreted in the wrong way. It can also mean severe repercussions for both the site and person who has posted it.

This is now the second time that we have been subject to potential legal action and both incidents have come from the Athletics section which has no current moderator.

Other sections are not specifically moderated but have a people power moderation style - basically the members self regulate and report any issues.

This has not happened in Athletics and as such I am sad to announce that we will be closing the athletics section for the time being.

It is up to every single member to remember to think about their comments AND report any comments they think may be subject to legal action.

We run this site for the entertainment for our members - dealing with lawyers and the police is not "fun" or entertaining.

The admin and moderator teams will need to be more vigilant going forward but we also expect help from members. Please remember not to post any threatening comments, no matter how tame you may think they are and no matter how tongue in cheek.

Debate the issue not the poster.

If you have any questions, please feel free to drop the admin team a PM or comment on this thread.

Thanks for your continued support,

Adam D

UPDATE - Although no names have been mentioned in this post as to who the original thread was concerned with, the person involved has asked for us to mention a few things.

Firstly the thread concerned someone having a dispute with the UK Athletics. This individual goes by the user name of Anthony Treacher (which may or not be his real name - he has contacted us as Anthony Treacher). He posted email correspondence between himself and the UK Athletics board. As we are not party to the correspondence as it was between the two parties, I cannot comment to its legitimacy or content. The correspondence that was published was posted by Anthony Treacher and if any of the correspondence has been changed by him prior to posting, this cannot be confirmed by 606v2. All that can be said is that the post on this site has not been altered by the admin team in any way and should there be any discrepancies in the content, that is not the liability of the admin team.

As a responsible site, we removed the content when we received the complaint from the UKA.

Anthony Treacher has contacted us to inform us that he was the one who reported the threat to the UKA about the "punching in the face" comment. WE cannot confirm this but he has claimed responsibility and has asked us to clarify that he did report it. He has also asked us to clarify that he was not the person who posted the comment containing the threat.

The only thing that the 606v2 can confirm is that he did not post the threat.

All other comments in this additional post are reproduced sentiments from Mr Treacher. 606v2 cannot confirm that the correspondence that he originally posted is unedited and correct and we cannot confirm that Mr Treacher contacted the UKA to report the comment with the threat. Mr Treacher is the one who has asked to state these comments and as a act of goodwill, we are reproducing his comments.

This site has been going for over 2 years and this is the first time that anything like this has happened. We run this site very well and it is a private site that we open up to the public as long as they abide by the rules set out by us. This whole dispute has developed from a personal dispute between Mr Treacher and the UKA - it has nothing to do with this site. WE are caught in the middle and it has been a highly distressing time for the whole admin team. we do not want this kind of attention or the type of members that is going to cause problems for the site.

Mr Treacher is no longer a member of this site and these comments are here to clarify his position. No further correspondence is going to take place with either Mr Treacher or the UKA.

The position for our site is quite clear - Mr Treacher posted comments that he states were email correspondence between himself and the UKA, that have now been removed. He did not threaten anyone. This final comment from us, is the final time we will publicly comment on this matter and should be seen by Mr Treacher as clarification of his absolvement of any threats.




Last edited by Adam D on Sat 16 Mar 2013, 4:42 pm; edited 4 times in total

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Post by Hibbz Tue 12 Mar 2013, 2:24 pm

Was it that B*ll Tr**cher one? Always thought it looked iffy though I can't recall a comment about punching someone in the face though.

It was up there for ages, used to read it for a chuckle.

Can't believe no moderators read it in truth but I guess you'd better stick to that story hey?

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Post by mystiroakey Tue 12 Mar 2013, 2:37 pm

wow. Thats kind of ermm crazy!

I hope the police arnt taken this seriously tbh..they surely shouldnt waste resources on something so trivial.

However i dont understand the motivation for someone posting personal email chains on here either!


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Post by super_realist Tue 12 Mar 2013, 2:39 pm

Police? Surely it would be the Stasi? Laugh


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Post by Roller_Coaster Tue 12 Mar 2013, 2:42 pm

I suppose they have to if someone makes a formal complaint to them and it is subsequently found that some law is broken.

More tax dollar used up though I guess, good job there's a surplus these days.

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Post by Hibbz Tue 12 Mar 2013, 2:45 pm

I didn't mean B*ll Tr**cher he was the guy that played Arthur Fowler, don't think he's got beef with the Uk Athletics Board.

Think the blokes name was Anth*ny Tr**cher.

I want to punch the horse I backed in the first at Cheltenham in the face. Send it to Tesco.

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Post by mystiroakey Tue 12 Mar 2013, 2:47 pm

Get on chatterox tommorow hibbz Smile

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Post by Guest Tue 12 Mar 2013, 2:51 pm

Sounds like you've done all you can Adam, no-one likes dealing with the Police so I hope they get through it quickly OK

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Post by Hibbz Tue 12 Mar 2013, 2:52 pm

Already backed The New One coz some bloke on here said to.

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Post by mystiroakey Tue 12 Mar 2013, 2:54 pm

We will see tommoroz.

odds have gone from 15 to 10/1 in a day or two. got good sources on thisand all ready backed it at 15- so not bothered about letting this diamond of info out.

Shall I post the email chain as proof that its a sure thing?

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Post by Rowley Tue 12 Mar 2013, 2:55 pm

Whether the police choose to take this seriously or not we have to. One only has to look in the news to see how people on twitter have been to trial for such things as posting the Bulger killers alleged identities or breaking injunctions to realise the internet is not the anything goes free for all many like to assume.

Top and bottom none of us on the moderation team are lawyers and nor do we have the money to engage them on our behalf. This forum was started solely to let people discuss the sports they love and too much work has gone in by the founders to get it to where it is to have it either shut down due to things like this or for Adam and the others to think it is more hassle than it is worth, and I can assure you having read the correspondence they had to deal with last night I would not blame them one bit if they were to decided to find better uses of their time as last night was far from fun.

It is more than possible to discuss sports and topics without it ending up in situations like this. Most of us are reasonably intelligent people with an ability to work out what could be on shaky ground legally or to work out what can be misconstrued from our posts. All anyone is asking is we give consideration to this before clicking send.

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Post by Hibbz Tue 12 Mar 2013, 2:59 pm

You'll need those good sauces when you buy it from Tesco next week Mysti.

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Post by mystiroakey Tue 12 Mar 2013, 3:01 pm

Hibbz wrote:You'll need those good sauces when you buy it from Tesco next week Mysti.

laughing


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Post by Guest Tue 12 Mar 2013, 3:05 pm

Holy crap! Sorry to hear you have this thrown upon you. I know as my time as my mod I took a lot of flak from posters for removing material I thought at the time could be subject to mis-interpretation and on legal grounds could pose problems.

I think Rowley nailed it. People need to think about what they post even if they think it is a throw away comment that won't get picked up.

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Post by Cari Tue 12 Mar 2013, 3:33 pm

It's very easy for IT users to forget that everything that is published - including personal email exchanges between two individuals - can be used as an official legal document whether there's a complaint involved or not. That's something that many of us should bear in mind whatever you're doing on the internet. Wink

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Post by JabMachineMK2 Tue 12 Mar 2013, 4:09 pm

I know stuff about Law.

Theres a disclaimer that you guys get people to agree to and publish - and I'm sure on there it says "any thoughts or opinions posted are that of the individual and not the site and as such the site will not be held accountable for any issues arising from comments made or posted"

Or words to that effect.

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Post by md_fan Tue 12 Mar 2013, 4:13 pm

It's kind of ironic since the athletics section has almost the least activity on the 606v2 site. No wonder the comment went unnoticed for so long. There's really not been any action on the athletics board since lsabre left. Even the Olympics last year did not generate many posts.

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Post by Adam D Tue 12 Mar 2013, 4:19 pm

JabMachineMK2 wrote:I know stuff about Law.

Theres a disclaimer that you guys get people to agree to and publish - and I'm sure on there it says "any thoughts or opinions posted are that of the individual and not the site and as such the site will not be held accountable for any issues arising from comments made or posted"

Or words to that effect.

Absolutely.

But obviously it takes time for us to have to deal with it and cooperate with them.

We would much rather not have to obviously, as it takes up our time.

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Post by Guest Tue 12 Mar 2013, 4:58 pm

has the athletics board been removed?

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Post by Adam D Tue 12 Mar 2013, 4:59 pm

No - its still there as per the OP OK

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Post by Crimey Tue 12 Mar 2013, 5:16 pm

JabMachineMK2 wrote:I know stuff about Law.

Theres a disclaimer that you guys get people to agree to and publish - and I'm sure on there it says "any thoughts or opinions posted are that of the individual and not the site and as such the site will not be held accountable for any issues arising from comments made or posted"

Or words to that effect.

Unfortunately, disclaimers like that do not always protect the site, its admin and moderators from legal action.

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Post by mystiroakey Tue 12 Mar 2013, 5:22 pm

Dangerous game isnt it Crimey. Living on the edge pal..


Very Happy

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Post by Cari Tue 12 Mar 2013, 5:48 pm

Crimey wrote:
JabMachineMK2 wrote:I know stuff about Law.

Theres a disclaimer that you guys get people to agree to and publish - and I'm sure on there it says "any thoughts or opinions posted are that of the individual and not the site and as such the site will not be held accountable for any issues arising from comments made or posted"

Or words to that effect.

Unfortunately, disclaimers like that do not always protect the site, its admin and moderators from legal action.

No, not always because comments are still published regardless of whether or not your site says you agree or disagree with the statements made. I guess it depends on what your disclaimer says.

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Post by Guest Tue 12 Mar 2013, 6:21 pm

Adam D wrote:No - its still there as per the OP OK


where?

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Post by Crimey Tue 12 Mar 2013, 6:28 pm

CF wrote:
Adam D wrote:No - its still there as per the OP OK


where?

It's been hidden.

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Post by superflyweight Tue 12 Mar 2013, 6:39 pm

Disclaimer will only go so far. I'm not aware of the exact circumstances here but it doesn't sound to me that any disclaimer would be totally effective (you cant contract out of every liability). Hence the need to cooperate with the authorities and to provide as much information as possible.

Bottom line is that if people want to abuse people on the Internet I'd rather they do it directly through twitter than on here where they could threaten a site that allows me to pass away some time in a usually enjoyable manner.

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Post by Guest Tue 12 Mar 2013, 7:06 pm

Crimey wrote:
CF wrote:
Adam D wrote:No - its still there as per the OP OK


where?

It's been hidden.


so its not still there then is it?!

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Post by Rowley Tue 12 Mar 2013, 7:16 pm

Cheers superfly, unlike you I have no legal expertise or training but just from a common sense perspective I would find it hard to believe a two line disclaimer would give our users carte blanche to libel people or threaten them to their hearts content or insulate those of us running the place when we take no action when they do so.

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Post by Crimey Tue 12 Mar 2013, 7:20 pm

There are cases of site owners/admin/moderators being prosecuted for failing to remove libellous/slanderous posts on their sites despite warnings.

CF, no posts have been deleted, it has been moved because after two legal complaints from that section compared to none anywhere else, it's clear that the section isn't being used for the right reasons. It has a very low post level, many of the posts being potentially libellous posts. The section may come back at some point, but only when the V2 team feel comfortable that there is suitable moderation and no possibility of legal action being taken upon us, or any members of the site, for posts in the section.

While you may not think this affects you, this situation highlights that if one poster posts something libellous, and you get involved you can get into serious legal trouble. We as the moderation team can only control your posts so far, we can't see read every post and no every story. We need you to use the report button, and we need you to think before you post something. While it may be a joke to you, to the outside world it can get you and us into serious trouble.

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Post by mystiroakey Tue 12 Mar 2013, 7:34 pm

Laugh

The owners could possibly get in trouble. But even that is seriously unlikely. Unpaid mods and admin. Do me a favour!

You got more chance getting done for j walking crossing a park walk way!


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Post by Crimey Tue 12 Mar 2013, 7:40 pm

mystiroakey wrote: Laugh

The owners could possibly get in trouble. But even that is seriously unlikely. Unpaid mods and admin. Do me a favour!

You got more chance getting done for j walking crossing a park walk way!


mysti, I've done my own research and found quite a few cases of unpaid admin being held liable for libellous posts being made on the site that weren't removed after being asked to.

We're taking this seriously for a reason.

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Post by mystiroakey Tue 12 Mar 2013, 7:41 pm

Seriously!

Well if what you say is true, The world has gone mental

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Post by super_realist Tue 12 Mar 2013, 7:44 pm

Thing is though, Although they can trace your IP address and therefore where you live, can they really prove who actually wrote it?
I mean, you could claim your left your front door open and someone came in and wrote it and they couldn't prove it wasn't true.

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Post by mystiroakey Tue 12 Mar 2013, 7:45 pm

Imagine the day where everyone needs a virtual ID to upload anything to the net!!



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Post by incontinentia Tue 12 Mar 2013, 7:55 pm

Theres a lot of abuse of Tiger Woods on the golf board, maybe the moderators could look into it?
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Post by mystiroakey Tue 12 Mar 2013, 7:57 pm

incontinentia wrote:Theres a lot of abuse of Tiger Woods on the golf board, maybe the moderators could look into it?

laughing

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Post by pedro Tue 12 Mar 2013, 8:03 pm

Is "www.606v3.com" free?

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Post by Enforcer Tue 12 Mar 2013, 8:30 pm

I'm not sure what you mean Pedro, if the number changed the law will still apply!

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Post by All Time Great Tue 12 Mar 2013, 9:56 pm

It depends on the legal structure of the website. If the owners are making profit from the site, then yes they can be sued for the income generated unless the site has been set up as a limited company (and of course have the site shut down, but this would have to go through the courts first). Admins cannot be sued/ prosecuted against as they have no ownership of the website. Note, if income is generated from the site, personal or corporate tax returns will be required- but you'd hope nothing would be payable as the income should offset the running costs.

There is also a duty of care principle as opposed to just a simple disclaimer on the website. Otherwise, a forum which promotes terrorist activity for example could reign free despite the harmful effects.

My solution would be to set 606v2 as a limited company and hive it up into an offshore parent company in a low corporate tax state. To offset having to pay hefty UK corporation tax fee's, we can simply use transfer pricing to eliminate all revenues generated to the parent company set up in Luxembourg. Anyone who posts on the website, will be deemed agents as opposed to being member. This way, the agent becomes personally liable to any posts made (such as twitter or Facebook).

Hope the above helps. I charge £1,495 p/hr if you would like me to help implement the above.

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Post by Corporalhumblebucket Tue 12 Mar 2013, 10:30 pm

Probably a few lessons from the McAlpine saga and people careless spreading allegations on twitter.

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Post by Henman Bill Tue 12 Mar 2013, 11:18 pm

It seems to be that the rule is you cannot defame on twitter but you can on forums. It's a strange, unoffocial rule.

Obviously this is an exception to that rule but there must be tons of equivalent things on tons of forums not being held to account.

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Post by Mad for Chelsea Tue 12 Mar 2013, 11:35 pm

without wishing to sound like a serial moaner, but dj has a point in that the athletics board was much much more active and indeed more interesting when Isabre was around as a mod. I understand that mods have to respect rules too, but ultimately the aim of this forum is to be a place to debate sports and nearly all the regulars on the athletics board were a) happy with the job Isabre was doing and b) left when he did. Still, no good crying over spilt milk.

Ultimately, this forum does a great job at catering for most sports, some sports (athletics and cycling among those I follow) just don't have a strong enough presence to have proper regular debate. The athletics board was quiet when the Olympics were on because people were debating on the Olympic specific threads, I suspect at the worlds there'll be a bit more activity.

As for the thread in question, I read it, and completely ignored it as clearly it was just one guy who had serious issues with UKA, and all the other regulars on the athletics board equally ignored it. I didn't see the "punch in the face" comment, so presume that was either a recent comment, or quickly removed.

Lastly though, I have to take issue with "It is up to every single member to remember to think about their comments AND report any comments they think may be subject to legal action." Members are here to debate sport, not police the site, with all due respect (and here I can't stress enough that I have huge huge respect for the work the mods/admins do on here) surely that's the admins/mods job. I'm aware there aren't (any longer) official mods on the athletics board, but there are global mods. That particular thread has been around for quite a few months, so I'd be very surprised if no mod or admin had seen it.

You are right though that the legal stuff on the internet is incredibly complicated, so it is each poster's responsibility to be very careful about what they write, though I'm not entirely aware what exactly was A.T's fault in his post (indeed I didn't see anything legally wrong with it at first glance).

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Post by Crimey Tue 12 Mar 2013, 11:39 pm


Lastly though, I have to take issue with "It is up to every single member to remember to think about their comments AND report any comments they think may be subject to legal action." Members are here to debate sport, not police the site, with all due respect (and here I can't stress enough that I have huge huge respect for the work the mods/admins do on here) surely that's the admins/mods job. I'm aware there aren't (any longer) official mods on the athletics board, but there are global mods. That particular thread has been around for quite a few months, so I'd be very surprised if no mod or admin had seen it.

The moderation team cannot be expected to read every post on the site MfC, it is up to the posters to report posts, that's what the report function is for. Even areas where I frequent regularly, posts may go unnoticed, and if they aren't reported there is a chance we'll never know. This isn't a job for us, I'm a student who also has a part time job, I'm also a regular poster on this site, my moderation of the board is always going to be severely limited as there are thousands of posts every day. The report function is often the only time offensive or libellous posts come to our attention. Particularly in sections with have no specific moderation and where no admins/mods really frequent that area other than to check posts.

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Post by Mad for Chelsea Tue 12 Mar 2013, 11:47 pm

fair enough, and when I see a post that I feel is libellous I'll report it. Once again I say that I have huge respect for what they do, as I know they're giving up valuable time for this site to function properly. Unfortunately in this case, I genuinely had (and still have) no idea what was wrong with these posts in particular (not being a law student).

Of course an alternative could also be to appoint someone as mod to the more "dangerous" non-modded boards (I know this wasn't the issue here, but cycling and athletics for instance are always going to bring in talk of PEDs, it's inevitable, and I feel desirable in fact, as long as it doesn't cross the line).

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Post by Crimey Tue 12 Mar 2013, 11:53 pm

Mad for Chelsea wrote:Of course an alternative could also be to appoint someone as mod to the more "dangerous" non-modded boards (I know this wasn't the issue here, but cycling and athletics for instance are always going to bring in talk of PEDs, it's inevitable, and I feel desirable in fact, as long as it doesn't cross the line).

Well this will hopefully occur in the future, but as of this time, with things still up in the air regarding the police and possible legal action we feel it's best to keep the Athletics section down for the moment because it had very little activity, most of which was regarding potentially libellous material. For the benefit of the admin team, the moderation team and all you posters, it is definitely the best course of action.

People also have to remember, that this site is hosted by forumotion, who have in the past shut down sites which have strayed onto the wrong side of the law. They have done this without warning or chance for explanation.

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Post by JabMachineMK2 Wed 13 Mar 2013, 1:51 am

That disclaimer would stand up in court. You're unlikely to find yourself being hit by any fines etc. You think Facebook gets sued every time someone gets bullied on there? It happens daily. Twitter too. Although providing the medium for such events to occur, you'll find that in all eventuality you cannot be held responsible for the other persons actions without provocation or encouragement. I'm not saying its right, and I'm not saying its justified, but ask yourself - honestly, unless written as the express opinion of the site and its owners do you think it would hold up in court?

I understand your co-operation, but sometimes the whole "please don't make libelous comments" thing gets stuck in my throat as its a forum for discussion, there are on occasion things that could be seen as libelous, yet when thought or opinion, it has very little weight in a court of law. Same as when someone threatens on a forum. You'll notice also, that each email from a company will say something similar, so publishing an email chain is again not something that you can get sued for.

I'm not defending/incriminating anyone or anything here, but I do want to make you guys feel a bit more secure because realistically, they can threaten all they like but it will never come to fruition. Ever.

Oh and if you need another mod, I'm more than happy to step up (think it would be an unpopular choice, but you're unlikely to find anyone with as much impartiality as myself)

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Post by McLaren Wed 13 Mar 2013, 2:15 am

Where is the original thread? It has to be worth a read.
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Post by Enforcer Wed 13 Mar 2013, 7:39 am

Covering a couple of posts, the original topic may not have been libelous and a disclaimer may stand up in court. However, I have no interest in going to court to find out! If we receive a complaint from a legal team then the chances are the post will get removed, rightly or wrongly. It's the only way we.can protect ourselves.

As for posters reporting posts, we're not asking users to moderate the board, only to flag things that could cause the site harm. If there was nobody wiling to do this our job would be a lot more difficult and I think as a group consideration to whether the forum was viable to remain open would be taken.

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Post by Rowley Wed 13 Mar 2013, 7:55 am

Enforcer wrote:Covering a couple of posts, the original topic may not have been libelous and a disclaimer may stand up in court. However, I have no interest in going to court to find out!

Amen to that, also to add to the point Crimey made earlier, none of us on the moderation team do this full time. We do it out of our love of the board and to try and make the place run smoothly. Fair enough it is our choice and I'm not asking anyone to arrange a parade. However what this means is we all have things in our lives outside of this forum, be it work, studies, children, families or other hobbies. Given this reading every single thread on every single board is never going to be a viable or feasible option. All anyone is asking is a little thought is given to a) what you post individually, because even in potentially sticky areas such as PED's a little thought in how you word a comment can be enough to stave off any potential problems and b) if you see something that is clearly over the line or out of order report it.

For my mind neither of those are particularly difficult and if it can stop the likes of Hero, Adam and Enforcer having to endure the kind of threats and letters they did the other night and can convince them long term the site is worth the time and effort they collectively put into it that is a small price to pay.

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Post by super_realist Wed 13 Mar 2013, 7:58 am

Just be sensible guys, you can have a laugh without being libelous or threatening.

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