Deleted thread - Avant

I've just removed a whole thread which was started by someone accusing a named garage of fraud.

When it was suggested, rightly, that the thread should go, the OP replied 'what about free speech?'.

This is just to point out that, however much we value free speech, you do NOT accuse someone by name of fraud on a public forum. This is simply a matter of common sense. For information, as our regular members know and respect, we have a 'naming and shaming' policy which can be found in a permanent thread above.

Deleted thread - FP

"When it was suggested, rightly, that the thread should go, the OP replied 'what about free speech?'"

People are very quick to claim a privilege (or "right"), but very slow to accept their responsibilities.

Deleted thread - badbusdriver

I thought the response from brum was a bit harsh. But after finding and reading the post on MSE, it seemed quite clear that nothing the garage did or offered would have been enough to quell the incessant ranting of the OP. Once the garage paid (just over £2k I think) to have the OP's car fixed properly (somewhere else), that should have been the end of it.

So I totally agree with removing the thread when you did Avant, could have gotten really messy!

Deleted thread - Smileyman

Come back to HJ after weeks holiday, note some old discussion threads have been brought back to life, whilst the archive is useful resource for future readers perhaps old threads should automatically lock after a preset time period of inactivity. .. they could still be linked in newer threads if required?

Deleted thread - JEREMYH

Every one that uses this site should have to spend a morning with a lawyer to understand the difference between Free speach and slander

Deleted thread - oldroverboy.

If I am criticising I feel ok in "naming and shaming", but I must not tell any untruth, but in the past i mentioned a dealer of a make with a light criticism, and that was deleted.

There is a very fine balance to keep, but obviously HJ has to consider the people most important, The advertisers and the makers who supply vehicles to him for reviews etc. So perhaps the balance is "commercial".

I personally know of a case where a customer went to a someone with a problem and was fobbed off. When that company was informed that they would lose all future sales to the complainants company it was quickly rectified. Why, because it was Hundreds of thousands of sales. You me and joseph Bloggs can just *** off!

Deleted thread - RT

From a personal point of view I dislike "name & shame" bans as the couple of times I wished to, I would have stuck to facts including any weakening my case - but having been a moderator on couple of other forums it's clear that the bad side of human nature appears in many cases with unsubstantiated allegations.

The original thread this seems to refer to seemed clear from the outset that it was out of order by a huge factor and Avant was clearly right to delete it.

As a slight aside, I have found that shaming without naming works well on forums with a private messaging facility present the facts and give whatever information is requested privately.

Deleted thread - Avant

Agreed, ORB, we do have to be careful about our advertisers - our organisation's main source of income - but my immediate concern is to avoid us being sued for defamation.

The sort of OP who names and shames can easily be magined, full of self-righteous indignation, to boast to the offending dealer that they've been reported publicly on the Honest John forum. We could soon be up the Swannee if that happened.

Deleted thread - argybargy

Others may disagree, but if there's a legitimate need to identify an area where a national dealer, garage chain, manufacturer or other motoring related business is currently giving poor service, skilfully dropped hints are sometimes enough. You can always carry on the conversation elsewhere, out of sight of the legal folks.

Other than that, I agree that naming someone and slagging them off, especially without right of reply, is not only tempting the lawyers, but also unfair and downright bad manners.

Deleted thread - FP

People posting stuff on the internet often seem to have anger simmering only just below the surface. In what they think is a state of complete anonymity, they vent their bile indiscriminately; they take offence at trivial details and spew forth the most appalling stuff.

So what we see here is mild compared to what happens elsewhere, but it is part of a trend whereby people think they are entitled to say exactly what they think, without fear of consequences.

Another point (and nothing to do with the internet) is that people often get into a rage about things like perceived poor service and unfair practices. What they forget is that, if they really want redress, they need to motivate the people they are complaining to, not alienate them. To lose sight of that goal and merely indulge in a fit of anger won't help them. And sometimes, what they think they are entitled to by way of redress is unrealistic.

As far as I can make out, the original thread that was deleted was just that - a self-indulgent, unrealistic rant, even after the garage being complained about had made a satisfactory offer.

It's a sad reflection of some people's lives.

Deleted thread - carl233

In my humble opinion society talks about free speech but I see very little evidence that there is true speech in our lives. Many Internet forums are heavily censored whilst giving the illusion that an open conversation and debate is welcome, I am not referring to the HJ forum here as I consider it more open than most.

In a society where there is true free speech people could say anything without censorship and the people would simply dismiss or accept this information based on their personal judgement, whilst I understand forums need to protect themselves from libel situations the current society is far from one based on free speech.

Deleted thread - FP

"In a society where there is true free speech people could say anything without censorship and the people would simply dismiss or accept this information based on their personal judgement..."

No. I'm sorry, but this is NOT what free speech is about - and possibly this kind of misunderstanding is what informs a lot of problems around the idea.

Free speech is never a simple issue of "saying/writing what I like, whenever and wherever I like, and leave it to everyone else to deal with it". It doesn't take a genius to see where that would lead.

Free speech always (and quite rightly) comes with restrictions. The freedom to say and write what you want has to be balanced against the extent to which such words may harm others. Slander and libel are examples; the only defence if anyone is charged with either of these is that what was said was factually true. And, in practice, even this comes at a price - the legal costs of dealing with such issues mean that, for example, HJ's website is not going to allow anything to get that far - and why should it? No-one has a right to use this free site to put anything that the website doesn't want, for whatever reason.

There are also, in UK law, restrictions about specific areas of social sensitivity - hate speech, for example (expressions of hatred toward someone on account of that person's colour, race, disability, nationality, ethnic or national origin, religion, or sexual orientation); on the basis of general consensus, such language is abhorrent and legislation prohibits it; obscenity is another area; national or public security, perjury also.

What "free speech" does mean is freedom from censorship (i.e. state interference in what is said/written), but with restrictions.

Deleted thread - carl233

"Free speech always (and quite rightly) comes with restrictions. "

I respectfully cannot concur with this the statement is nothing more than a twisted inversion. Free speech is just that a human being is free to speak their opinion and ascertainments. A well informed population with a brain cell on active duty can then select what to make of the comments and statements made.

It is sad to say society in many respects has been completely brainwashed especially in the West the more you travel the world it is clear to see.

Deleted thread - Avant

This comes down to a matter of semantics: maybe we should settle for 'free speech within the bounds of what is reasonable'.

It seems that I may have a lighter touch thn moderators on some other forums, but I find it works well on the whole if I limit the virtual blue pencil to:

- attempts at free advertising;

- personal insults and rudeness; and

- naming and shaming.

Deleted thread - argybargy

The definition of free speech differs depending on the forum wherein it is being exercised. That's it, really.

In conversation with a good friend who is broadminded, and who already knows you well, you can be frank. In open conversation in a room full of folks you don't know, you tread carefully. On the internet, in a closed forum, obey the rules. On the internet in an open forum, where strangers can see what you write, as above, tread carefully, especially if you use your real name.

Absolute free speech is a privilege, not a right, and you qualify for that privilege by demonstrating that you can use it wisely, and above all, legally.

Deleted thread - madf

"Free speech always (and quite rightly) comes with restrictions. "

I respectfully cannot concur with this the statement is nothing more than a twisted inversion. Free speech is just that a human being is free to speak their opinion and ascertainments. A well informed population with a brain cell on active duty can then select what to make of the comments and statements made.

It is sad to say society in many respects has been completely brainwashed especially in the West the more you travel the world it is clear to see.

A fair % of the UK population do not think rationally, or have their logical thinking twisted by drugs,religious prejudices or intolerance of others.

So it you want really free speech, you have to come to a decision what to do about such people as the effects of really free speech vary. See all the terrorists who blow themselves up and others with them . In reality the internet does provide really free speech - see ISIS and its followers...

Deleted thread - FP

" Free speech is just that a human being is free to speak their opinion and ascertainments. A well informed population with a brain cell on active duty can then select what to make of the comments and statements made."

Freedom - of speech, or actions - without consideration of the harmful effects that may be caused to others is anarchy.

Deleted thread - Slow Eddie

Freedom - of speech, or actions - without consideration of the harmful effects that may be caused to others is anarchy.

"Anarchy"? Really? There have always been certain limitations, by common consent surely, on the principle of freedom of speech - shouting "Fire!" in a crowded theatre; or direct incitements to violence, for example. But to extend this by way of undefined "harmful effects that may be caused to others" is to give way to the intolerance and enforced conformity of our new snowflake society.

IMHO... (Sorry Avant, this is all getting a bit nebulous and non-motoring - time to lock this thread maybe!)

Edited by Slow Eddie on 13/09/2017 at 13:26

Deleted thread - FP

" But to extend this by way of undefined "harmful effects that may be caused to others" is to give way to the intolerance and enforced conformity of our new snowflake society."

No-one is saying the harmful effects caused by the abuse of freedom are "undefined"; in a civilised society the rule of law defines the limits of freedom pretty clearly.

My comment about anarchy was directed at a poster who seems to think that freedom of speech should not be restricted in any way, even if others suffer as a result.

And this is not a nebulous discussion, as far as I see it. It's about how far individual freedoms can be allowed to impinge on the rest of society and is central to the issue of the deletion of an offensive thread (or at least a thread with offensive posts).

If it's getting too boring I'm quite happy to see the thread closed - I've said all I want.

Deleted thread - RobJP

I'd agree with the way Avant moderates the forum - he keeps a light touch where he can, and intervenes where he feels he must, and his judgement on which certainly seems to work well, to me at least.

People don't like the rules, they're free to go elsewhere.

Deleted thread - Avant

Thank you for your support Rob - much appreciated!

This thread has been a good, civilised discussion. I suspect that anything that needs to be said has been said, but I won'f force the issue by closing it. It can die a natural death.

Deleted thread - oldroverboy.

Aaaargh!

 

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