Non-motoring > Latest Threat to Forums Miscellaneous
Thread Author: Kevin Replies: 6

 Latest Threat to Forums - Kevin
The government's proposal to give Ofcom powers to decide what is and is not acceptable content on social media is a significant threat to any website that contains user-generated content like C4P. Not only will their remit cover the rather vague subject of "cyber bullying" but it also appears that they will be able to decide for themselves what constitutes "harmful content" and update that decision on the fly.
The chair of the DCMS committee is calling for penalties up to and including jail time for those breaking the law.

What happens if Ofcom decide that taking the P out of someone being stupid in a discussion forum is harmful content because it offends an idiot?

How many folks will accept the responsibility of being a forum moderator when the goalposts can be moved at any minute and there's the threat of a prison sentence?

If this get's through I can see many forums which are run like C4P just folding because of the risk.
 Latest Threat to Forums - Bromptonaut
That is exactly my fear.
 Latest Threat to Forums - R.P.
Heard it on the news earlier...could be curtains...:-(
 Latest Threat to Forums - zippy
Yep, we certainly don't need the EU to make up stupid and unworkable rules - we are more than capable ourselves!
 Latest Threat to Forums - Terry
A distinction must be made between:

- very worthwhile sanctions and penalties over that regarded as wholly unacceptable, and
- reasonable discussion which can result in sometimes heated differences of opinion.

The former may include pornography, betting, child abuse, racial and religious intolerance, etc

The latter (one would hope) would include fora where the principal motive is to exchange views on typically single issues - motoring, sailing, woodwork, knitting, photography, computers etc etc.

As with this forum the discussion may reasonably extend into politics, and other matters where exchanges can get heated and should be moderated appropriately.

How this distinction is legislated I don't know right now. But if you feel it is the thin end of a dictatorial wedge you need to realise that the unacceptable will continue uncontrolled.
 Latest Threat to Forums - smokie
"...this forum the discussion may reasonably extend into politics, and other matters where exchanges can get heated and should be moderated appropriately."

I think you joined too late to see the BREXIT discussions here, which often got quite heated.

As a moderator I would say it is quite difficult to police a forum. While you hope for civilised discussion, once a certain line is crossed( and that line is in different places for different people, (including the moderators) you have to make a decision when to intervene.

This forum was intended to be light touch as far as moderating goes but the BREXIT discussions caused a lot of friction. Without wishing to pick at old scabs, we were rightly or wrongly often accused of favouring or dis-favouring particular members. We were accused of not doing enough moderating by some, and also of doing too much and not enough by others. Some members left, presumably because the moderating didn't do enough or did too much for their liking. I won't go on, but you get the idea.

So I've no idea how would one decide what "moderated appropriately" is, in terms of moderation.
 Latest Threat to Forums - Avant
Like you, Smokie, I use a 'light touch' when moderating the HJ forum. I've done it for 10 years now and it seems to work OK. There will sometimes be heated debate, but I step in if the language starts to get personal. This tends to happen when some is so sure that their viewpoint is the only tenable one that anyone daring to disagree mist be mentally defective.

I give a warning to keep the debate civilised, and if that doesn't happen I close the thread. So far we've never had the problem of a new one being sared again on the same topic.

I think the Government is trying to protect people from such things as harassment, violence and child abuse. The risk is that governments or their agencies tend to take a blunderbuss approach, and attack the wrong targets: but I'm hopeful that Ofcom or whoever won't be too interested in someone calling someone else an idiot on a motoring forum.
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